A synthetic chemical called bisphenol A has been on our radar screen for a while. Scientists have known for some time that bisphenol A (called BPA for short*) can mimic the effects of estrogen in mammals, causing a range of subtle but potentially serious health effects.
And that’s especially troubling, since we use BPA for storing food and water. BPA is a key component of polycarbonate water bottles, and is also used as a liner for canned goods and liquid infant formulas. And BPA doesn’t just stay put in the container—it can leach into foods and beverages. BPA was recently found in the urine of 93 percent of adults and children that the CDC tested; and most of our BPA exposure comes from what we eat and drink.
But as if you needed it, now there’s even more reason to freak out: a new population-based study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association—primo credibility—has linked BPA to heart disease and diabetes.
For now, the US Food and Drug Administration is sticking by its guns, claiming that BPA is safe—or, rather, that “A margin of safety exists that is adequate to protect consumers, including infants and children, at the current levels of exposure.” We’ll see how long that position lasts…
[*Apologies to the Bonneville Power Administration, which is also commonly known as BPA. Too many acronyms!]