So… What’s the fuzz about?
There is this chemical substance (BPA), that when absorbed by the human body, it has the same effects like estrogens! Meaning that it is harmful to the men’s sperm and can also cause cancer. See the video below and get an idea of what we are talking about or continue reading and see how our body absorbs BPA, where is it used?

Where is BPA used?
Almost everywhere! In cans, bottles, plastic plates, glasses, cutlery, tapper, cellphones, sunglasses, helmets, teeth fillings, colors, pipes and in general in almost every thing you can imagine! Its characteristics make it a fantastic material, useful in various industries because of its clarity and toughness. It is in the market for the last 60 years approximately and is among the most popular chemical substances world wide. Approximately 600.000 tones per year are traded only in Europe. Major BPA producers are the American Dow Chemical and Momentive Performance Materials, the Taiwanese Nan Ya Plastics and the German Bayer.

OK! And what should I do?
Start with an easy one: Avoid putting plastic in the microwave! Hereby three more suggestions:

  • Avoid soft drinks in cans

  • Avoid cans in general basically
  • Stop using plastic kitchenware

But how can I recognize where is BPA?
Have you ever noticed the plastic codes that are printed in every packaging? If not, don’t worry. Most of us haven’t. So next time you will buy something from the super market, search for a small triangle out of arrows (it looks a bit like the recycling sign but it is not green). It usually has a number in it and below it some letters indicating the chemical substance used. BPA belongs to the category “Other” with the number 7.


Codes 2,3 and 5 are ok. The rest ones do not entail BPA but other chemical substances. The one which is interesting is PET with code 1, which is often used in food packaging end things we use in the kitchen. In theory it can be recycled, but the problem with this type of plastic is that it can be spread in a lot of tiny pieces that end up in sea and get the animals which are eating them by mistake or because they are in the stomach of their “food” choked or poisoned.

Just like with any case, depending on whom you ask, you can get different answers. If you ask the industry representatives, BPA is harmless. If you ask the independent scientists and the Research Institutions, BPA is dangerous. If you ask the state regulating institutions, the answer is somewhere in the middle. Eventually, BPA is found harmless if the prerequisites regarding the quantity used in products like baby bottles, food packaging etc are met. Studies might not agree on the extend of the impact of BPA on the human body but it’s worth mentioning that 9 out of 10 of them (no matter where they are coming from) show that Bisphenol A (BPA) does indeed act like estrogens. (Watch here – available only in German).

Individual experiment of people who were eating for 2 days in a row food and drinks only from cans, showed huge increase of BPA concentration in their blood compared to before. (you can watch the experiment here in German; if someone has found a source available in English, please let us know). This proves that even if the requirements per product are indeed followed, the total amount of BPA that can be consumed by a person and therefore be absorbed by our body might not be the indicated one, since BPA is in so many products we consume in our everyday life.

How much BPA is considered to be dangerous?

According to European Union’s direction 4mg per kilo per day is the maximum accepted quantity that is considered to be harmless.

Since 2015, France has banned BPA use not only in baby bottles but also in everything that is related to food. French have calculated that they rate first in the hormone related cancer cases like prostate cancer and breast cancer. This costs quite a few million euros to the French medical care system. Therefore if people having these types of cancer are declined because of non-consumption of BPA, this will eventually result in less costs for their medical care system.

To everybody reading this article: We are not going to claim that we are experts in BPA related issues, so if you have anything to suggest, to counter argue or in general would like to say your opinion, you are more than welcome.

The article is based on this source


Dora Kallipolitou
Find out more about the Habits team here

Last content update:

November 25, 2017