In this day and age, it’s important to be educated and informed about what the products we buy and use on a daily basis are actually made from. As there are so many new transparency regulations, advancements in technology and new innovative ideas coming to life everyday, it pretty much means that we can know exactly what the products we buy are made from.
A particular hot topic is BPA, which is a chemical compound primarily used when making a number of plastics which can be used for food storage and in water bottles. One particular water bottle that has recently gone viral is the 99p TikTok water bottle that tells you how much water you should drink at different times of the day. Since the bottle is so cheap, many questions have come about whether the TikTok water bottle is safe, and it has now been confirmed that it’s not BPA free. If you haven’t heard of BPA before, there are a number of questions over the safety of plastics made using the chemical compound, which we will dive into now.
What is BPA?
First created in 1891, Bisphenol A, most commonly known as BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to create various types of plastic and resins commercially since the 1950’s. The compound BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins and is currently the most commonly produced chemical across the world. Polycarbonate plastics are used in food and drinks containers like water bottles, as well as toiletries whereas epoxy resin is used to coat the inside of various metal products such as food cans and the tops of water bottles.
All these products are common household items that we use on a day-to-day basis, perhaps without thinking about what the products are made from. Over time, if we continually use products that have BPA in the packaging, it can result in the chemical compound being absorbed or ingested into our bodies, which could result in adverse health effects.
What does BPA do to us?
Research conducted into the effects of BPA have shown that the chemical can seep into food and drinks containers that are made with BPA plastic, and it can be absorbed through skin contact. As a result, this means that we are regularly exposing ourselves to BPA. The biggest health concern over this contamination has been the impact the chemical has on foetuses and young children, studies have shown that it can affect their prostate glands and brain. The younger the child is, the less developed their systems are for detoxifying chemicals, which results in a higher % of BPA in their body.
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Once the chemical has entered the human body, the chemical can copy the action of the ‘female hormone’ oestrogen and disrupt the normal endocrine system. This system is a complex network of organs and glands, and the glands within it control hormone regulation, your metabolism, your growth and reproduction. Studies that have been conducted to examine the health effects of high doses of BPA on mice, show that it can also cause detrimental health problems to your liver, kidney function and mammary gland development.
Whilst this study used a higher dose of BPA than the average human would be exposed to, there are concerns that a high percentage of BPA levels in children can have adverse effects on their development, which could cause neurobehavioural and immune system abnormalities. Other studies have linked BPA exposure to coronary artery disease, whilst others have linked BPA and breast cancer together. One of the main concerns we face when trying to find concrete evidence that BPA is the cause of a number of diseases, is that we cannot ethnically test the chemical on humans, so the studies are conducted on animals or test tubes.
What can you do?
Despite there being a number of regulations that have been put in place, it is hard to completely avoid ever coming into contact with BPA, as it can be found in a number of household items, food containers and even the ink on supermarket receipts. However, you can make changes to severely reduce the amount of exposure you have to it. The first step is to research and check the ingredients of any new plastic items you buy, as well as the ones you already have in your home like children’s tableware, to see if they are BPA-free products.
At Citron, we have created lifestyle and mealtime essentials that are sustainable and as safe as possible. That is why we ensure that any plastic used in either the packing or manufacturing process, is BPA-free. Without the use of BPA-plastic in our products, we can ensure that we are providing you with the best mealtime essentials for everyone in the family, without putting your health at risk. Whether you want to buy a snack box for your child, a reusable water bottle for your teenager or a food jar for yourself, we can ensure that they are all BPA-free.