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It feels like BPA has been in the news constantly for the last few weeks but what exactly is it and why is everyone talking about it?

Well BPA stands for Bisphenol A and is a chemical that has been used since the 1960's to create certain plastics and resins.  The chemical helps plastic to harden but also remain pliable and flexible.  

BPA is found in many, many everyday items. Most commonly in water bottles, plastic cups, children's bottles and toddler cups, till receipts, DVD covers, plastic packaging, food packaging, food containers, dental seals, glasses and the protective coating and linings in some food cans.  This is just a a small list but BPA casts its net of use pretty wide.

A few years ago controversy around the chemical really began and some studies suggested that BPA could possibly be linked to some health conditions.  As the years went by more and more research has been done to try and get a grasp of how our bodies are reacting to BPA.

Many things have been reported such as links to cancer, heart disease as well as brain and behavioural problems especially in infants and toddlers.  But the most prominent worry with BPA is, that it is a endocrine disruptor.  Our bodies mistake BPA as a hormone and this means that the chemical can interfere and may cause many problems for our health including menstruation issues and fertility problems for both men and women.  

Lately BPA has been making the headlines again.  First for this study that was done on teenagers, where it was found that 86% of them had BPA in their digestive system.  And secondly because the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has now changed BPA's classification.
 "Bisphenol A was listed in the Candidate List of substances of very high concern  due to its toxic reproduction properties in January 2017."

They also noted..
"Bisphenol A is classified in the EU as a substance that has toxic effects on our ability to reproduce" and also said that they  "identify Bisphenol A as a substance of very high concern also because of its endocrine disrupting properties which cause probable serious effects to human health which give rise to an equivalent level of concern to carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic to reproduction"

So what does that all mean in plain english?
Well, evidence of BPA's effect on our health is now being taken notice of and some guidelines are being brought in for some countries around the world (Canada and some American states won't allow the substance in baby bottles) but there is still a large group of people, businesses and brands who say not enough research has been done to trust the evidence so they will not ban the substance as they think it's safe for our bodies to consume in low amounts.

We feel like information and education is so important and arming yourself with unbiased knowledge and facts will help you make a personal and informed decision on how you feel about the use of BPA in your life.

Here at thirteen:fourteen we are a strictly BPA free zone.  It has been something that has concerned us for a while and we actively try and exclude the toxic chemical from our lives.

A positive thing to be aware of though, is that once you start to use non BPA containing items, your body starts to expel the chemical and detox your body of it the longer you don't use it or have any contact with it.

Many products are now voluntarily going BPA free and will make it really clear on their packaging if they use another substance rather than BPA in their product.  If you do still have BPA containing items and want to continue to use them, don't use them in the microwave or leave them in direct sunlight as heat is thought to encourage the leaching of the chemical into our food and body.

Sometimes trying to tackle something like going BPA free feels overwhelming and confusing but its getting so much easier and simpler due to so many more BPA free items being available on the market.  Hopefully with even more research and more strict guidelines on everyday toxic chemicals, having things like BPA in our life will be a thing of the past.

Further reading and studies mentioned in the article