When Bisphenol A (BPA) first came to the public’s attention a few years back, it was mainly around the fact that BPA was utilised in baby bottles.
Since that time, major changes have been made to the baby industry, and bottles are now issued with big labels marking them BPA-free.
So if we make such a fuss about BPA being fed to our children, should we be feeding it to our adults? And what are the potential side effects anyway?
What is Bisphenol A?
First discovered in 1891, by Russian chemist Aleksander Dianin, Bisphenol A or BPA, was originally created as a form of artificial estrogen.
In case you don’t speak science, this means that BPA was originally created to be a female contraceptive. At the time, it was found to be less effective than other forms of estrogen on the market, but researchers at Bayer and General Electric discovered that BPA was great at hardening polycarbonate plastics.
So starting in 1950, BPA quickly found its way into everything from baby and water bottles, to sports equipment, CDS, DVDs and so much more. BPA is also found in plastic-lined papers, pipes, aluminum cans and even thermal receipts.
Almost everything we eat or drink nowadays has come into contact with BPA at some point… think about that. At some point, everything you consume has been absorbing female estrogen hormones designed to act as a contraceptive.
The effects of excess estrogen
According to David Wolfe, commons signs of excess estrogen include:
- Mood Swings
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Decreased sex drive
- Tender breasts
Not to mention the fact the chemical in question was designed as a way to stop women from getting pregnant.
Now throw in the fact that both infertility and obesity are hugely on the rise, and you have to ask yourself if we can really afford to keep on ignoring the potential health effects of consuming these kinds of chemicals in our water and food?
Over the past few years, infertility has risen to a point where 1 in 6 couples in Britain are having difficulty conceiving – and rising estrogen levels in water are already being pointed to as a culprit.
In addition, childhood obesity rates alone have tripled since 1980, and in the US alone, nearly 38% of adults are now considered obese.
Bisphenol A everywhere – even in your drink!
It’s like smoking – one cigarette won’t kill you, it’s the repeated smoking every day that builds up to cause cumulative damage.
Every time you drink from a can or a plastic bottle, or you eat fast food that is packaged in plastic or plastic lined paper, you’re putting a small amount of estrogen into your body.
Every time you touch the device you’re touching, or unpack food you bought packaged in plastic at the supermarket, a small amount of Bisphenol A makes it way into your system.
Almost everything you eat, drink or touch is encased in plastic today, and if you begin trying to avoid it, you’ll discover exactly how much there is – and how difficult it is to avoid.
Over the years, various studies into BPA have shown that it causes changes in genitalia and tissues, changes in maternal behaviors, disruptions in ovarian development, is carcinogenic, and reverses the normal sex differences in brain structure and behavior.
However, governments around the world are still divided on BPA, and most allow it to be used in plastic products, citing little to no adverse side effects.
Watching the rising obesity and infertility rates soar alongside plastic consumption always gives me pause to consider though: is plastic eventually going to be the architect of humanity’s doom?