A chemical regularly used in plastic production, particularly food packaging, BPA (or Bisphenol A) has been the at centre of controversy for some time. The official guidelines from the Food Standards Agency state that although it is likely that we do consume some of this chemical as it comes into contact with our food or drink, it is not thought that any of us ingest enough of it to do any serious damage. Having said that, they are waiting on the results of a study currently being undertaken by the National Toxicology Programme in America to see if their guidelines should be altered.
What We Know About BPAs
Scientists have confirmed that the BPA monomer acts as an endocrine disruptor when present in the body, which means it can have a detrimental affect on hormone behaviour, which in turn has a negative impact on cell production. This affects every bodily system to a degree, particularly the reproductive and developmental systems. It acts a lot like oestrogen, which is a naturally occurring and essential hormone in the body, but too much of it can lead to potential health issues including cancer, diabetes, obesity, infertility, thyroid problems and developmental delays.
How Much BPA is Too Much BPA?
While the FSA admit there is a limit to the amount of BPA we are safely able to consume, they do not specify what that limit is, insisting that current levels are likely to have no affect on the body. Most food storage solutions are happy to announce it on the packaging when they do not contain BPA, but otherwise, it is tricky to know whether or not your plastic container or baked bean tin has been made with the chemical. Usually, PET plastics are safe, as are those that are opaque.
Research conducted by independent sources state that it is not possible to consume any amount of BPA safely, despite government-led research showing otherwise.
Food Production Standards
Many food manufacturers have taken steps to reduce the amount of BPA used in their packaging, despite the government’s insistence that it is safe, indicating that they still see the chemical as a health risk. Back in 2010, companies including Nestle, Heinz, General Mills and Campbell Soups all agreed to commit to looking into suitable alternatives in their packaging. At the same time, Coca-Cola refused to stop using BPAs, with a statement that said it was satisfied that their packaging was safe to use.
At HydrateM8, none of our products are produced using BPAs. Many alternative refillable water bottles are produced with the substance, but ours have been thoughtfully crafted, ensuring there is absolutely no risk to our customers. While various food standard agencies around the world are insisting it is safe in low levels, we don’t see the point in taking an unnecessary risk, after all, our ethos is all about making you healthier!
We suggest you keep an eye out for products carrying the BPA-free label and use those wherever possible. Whatever the results from the National Toxicology Programmes’ research, you will be covered either way!