BPA is used in many common plastics.
If cell division is disturbed, it can result in aneuploidy, or an abnormal number of chromosomes in the eggs. This condition is the leading cause of mental retardation and birth defects in humans, including Down syndrome.
Even extremely low levels of the compound, called Bisphenol A (BPA), produced genetic abnormalities, according to researchers. BPA exhibits hormone-like properties and imitates the effects of naturally occurring estrogens.
Researchers began to study BPA after normal mice began to display genetic abnormalities that are typically uncommon. The defects were linked to plastic cages and water bottles that had been cleaned with a harsh detergent, causing BPA to leak from the plastic.
Researchers then determined how much BPA the mice had been exposed to and how small a dose would produce effects. An extremely small dose of 20 parts/billion daily for five to seven days was enough to produce effects.
Researchers are uncertain of the effect of BPA on humans, however they noted that mice and humans have a very similar cell division program for eggs.
Previous studies have suggested that exposing animals in the womb to levels of BPA similar to those found in the environment disrupts their sperm count, prostate and testicular development. However, other studies, some funded by the plastics industry, have not found any risks associated with BPA exposure.
Some experts say that, taken together, study results suggest that efforts to begin reducing human exposure to BPA are warranted.
Current Biology April 2003;13:546-553
Bisphenol A (BPA) was invented in the 1930s during the search for synthetic estrogens.
The substance is now deeply embedded in the products of modern consumer society, not just as the building block for polycarbonate plastic (from which it then leaches as the plastic ages) but also in the manufacture of epoxy resins and other plastics, including polysulfone, alkylphenolic, polyalylate, polyester-styrene, and certain polyester resins.
This is one of the major reasons why you will want to store your food and water in glass if at all possible. Plastics are far more likely to contribute dangerous types of chemicals to the contents.
One of the easiest things you can do to cut back on your exposure to this chemical is to NEVER use Styrofoam cups, especially for hot drinks. It is bad enough that people drink coffee but to put it in a Styrofoam cup is extremely unwise. Why would anyone want to expose themselves to these types of dangerous chemicals (bisphenol A and polystyrene)?
I don’t believe the coffee is nearly as dangerous as the chemicals you receive from drinking it from a Styrofoam cup.
If you use baby bottles, you will most certainly want to consider using glass bottles in place of plastic ones for similar reasons.
Also, please remember that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not have a safety limit for BPA on foodstuffs, so the government is not looking out for you on this one. Read the evidence and make the decision yourself.
I did this many years ago and avoid plastics in nearly all situations when it comes in contact with my food or water source. This even applies to the popular Nalgene water bottles, which many believe are an exception when it comes to plastic. However, a study found that even Nalgene bottles appear to be unsafe.