Bisphenol A, or BPA, is suspected to be dangerous as it has been found to increase uterine fibroid tumor growth and has been linked to heart attacks and diabetes, reports the Huffington Post. BPA acts as a synthetic estrogen, causing hormone imbalances, interfering with fertility treatment, and possibly increasing an individual's risk of developing cancer. In addition, BPA has been linked to brain and behavior problems in children and to the disruption of normal child and fetus development, explains WebMD.
BPA is an industrial chemical used to make plastics and resins, explains Mayo Clinic. Plastic items with recycling codes of three or seven may contain BPA. Polycarbonate plastics are frequently used in food storage containers including water bottles, and epoxy resins coat the inside of metal containers and are found in canned goods, water supply lines and bottle tops. BPA can also be found in certain dental sealants or composites.
If food or drinks have been stored in containers with BPA, the chemical can leech into the food or beverage, reports the Huffington Post. To avoid BPA exposure, consumers should purchase water bottles made of stainless steel, glass, or plastic with a recycling code of one, two or five. Those using plastic waterbottles should avoid drinking from any bottle that has been frozen, exposed to high temperatures or exposed to sunlight.
Individuals can store leftovers in glass containers, cut down on consumption of canned items, avoid microwaving food in plastic wrap or cellophane, and use a french press instead of a plastic automatic coffee maker to reduce BPA exposure. Individuals are also advised to avoid handling receipts on thermal paper, which contains BPA, explains the Huffington Post.