Bisphenol A (BPA/bpa)- Source, Side effect and Avoidance measures (Dermatocare’s ingredients guide)

Written By Dr Surbhi, MD Skin

Last updated: 03/10/18

"Doctor, Should I avoid BPA?"Let me ask, “Can you avoid BPA?” Are safer alternatives like steel or glass not affordable? Then what is the confusion! The use of plastic containers in the household should be seriously reconsidered especially during pregnancy and childhood to ensure the normal brain and reproductive development of your child. To know how BPA damages your health especially during pregnancy and childhood, read further!


What is BPA or bisphenol a /bpa?

Bisphenol A is a chemical that is used in the manufacturing of:

  • Polycarbonate plastic used for making water bottles. The harder the plastic, more are the chances that it has BPA. The plastic that has recycled sign with number 7(rather than 1,2,3,4,5) in the center is likely to contain BPA according to Wikipedia. Checkout the our pick of bpa free lunch boxes, storage containers and bottles.
  • Resin lining of cans used for food and beverages.
  • Dental sealants.
  • Electronic devices including CD, DVD, etc.
  • Medical devices used during Cardiopulmonary bypass and Dialysis.
  • Thermal paper used for the sales receipt, movie tickets, toilet paper, newspaper, napkins, etc.  has BPA that readily leaches out into your hand and might be ingested as well.
  • Other consumer goods.

BPA is one of the chemicals with the highest volume of production per year and a study conducted in the US showed that it was present in 93% of urine samples.

What are the potential side effects of BPA?

There are numerous studies on the harmful effect of BPA in animals; however, only a few studies have been conducted to study its side effects in humans. Here is a  list of side effects with either animal or human study to back up the above:

  • Early Puberty and Breast development: BPA has estrogenic effects that can pre-pone onset of puberty in females.
  • Infertility: In females, BPA has been linked to infertility and poor response to IVF, while in males low sperm count has been observed. These changes are more likely if one is exposed to BPA in the womb of the mother.
  • Behavioral problems: HEyperactivity and anxiety are noticed in children exposed to BPA in the womb of the mother or during early life.
  • Breast cancer: Exposure to BPA in the womb and early life can increase chances of developing breast cancer.
  • Auto-immunity: BPA can trigger auto-immune diseases by activating various immune pathways.
  • Obesity: Higher levels of BPA were found in Obese.
  • Endometriosis: BPA has been linked to the causation of a very painful disease of the uterus in females.
  • PCOD: TBPA, phthalates, pesticides are one of the culprits behind the increase in incidence of the Polycystic ovarian disease.
  • Diabetes: BPA might trigger Diabetes type 2 by altering the glucose homeostasis.
  • Prostate Cancer: In advanced stages of prostate cancer, BPA favors progression of tumor and reduce time to recurrence.
  • Heart diseases: Chronic BPA exposure is linked to increasing chances of getting a heart attack, arrhythmias, hypertension and peripheral artery disease.

How to avoid BPA?

Plastic and cans are primary sources that should be addressed, besides rare ones; as listed here:

  • Plastic: The best option is to STOP using plastic containers including BPA free ones for food and drinks altogether because recent research shows that BPS used in BPA-free plastic might have similar side effects. The best is to replace the plastic containers with that of steel or glass especially for cooked, hot and liquid food. Here are some bpa-free green living ideas:
    • Do not heat food in plastic containers: BPA leaches out of plastic into the food upon heating in the microwave. Use bpa free glass containers for microwave.
    • Do not buy bottled mineral water: Mineral water bottles gets heated up during transportation from manufacturing to selling the place, increasing the chances of leaching of BPA in bottled water. So, always carry water in a steel bottle with you. Check out more in this article, Bisphenol A (BPA/Bpa) Free Steel Bottles- Go Green With Dermatocare
    • Replace plastic lunch boxes taken to schools or offices with the steel ones; undoubtedly, old is gold. Here is the article that describes this in more details, 5 Reason For Using Bisphenol A (BPA/Bpa) Free Lunch Boxes- Go Green With Dermatocare
    • Throw the old plastic ware: Because the chances of leaching out of BPA is more from old worn out plastic containers.
    • Do not let small kids chew plastic toys: Infants have a normal reflex of putting everything in their mouth. Please make sure they don’t put plastic in their mouth because chronic BPA exposure might cause behavioral and reproductive problems in kids.
    • Prefer steel or ceramic utensils to plastic ones, even if made of high-grade plastic.
    • Unfortunately, BPA-free bottles are the only options available for feeding the babies. However, few companies do manufacture glass infant feeding bottles. Nonetheless, this is one more valid reason to breastfeed till six months and continue till 1 year abd change directly to STEEL glass.
  • Canned products:
    • Avoid canned food, soft drinks and beverages mainly infant liquid formulas.
    • Prefer fresh food especially vegetables, fruits infant formula over the canned ones.
  • Thermal paper: Throw the sales receipt, tickets or napkins immediately after use.

What is the current law on the use of BPA in India?

The use of BPA in infant feeding bottles has been banned in many countries, but there are no such stringent laws in India. Also, around 50% of infant feeding bottle that claimed to be BPA-free had more than allowed concentration of BPA, according to a report published in Times of India 2014.

Thus, simple mantra of fresh food cooked at home served in traditional cookware made of steel, glass or ceramic is the best option to stay chemical free.


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