The Ban Poisonous Additives Act introduced in the US on July 9th, 2014 proposes to ban the sale and production of reusable food containers made with BPA. This is not the first legislative action against the substance: in 2012, BPA was removed from baby bottles.
BPA gained popularity as a manufacturing material in the 1960s. It is present in many items, such as plastics and receipts, but many of these items are now being researched to see if they have an effect on human health.
BPA stands for Bisphenol A. It is a chemical used in plastic production (polycarbonate plastics). BPA was tested on rats in the 1930s – however, its exposure effects were left for the most part unreported until the late 1990s.
BPA has been linked to possible effects on the brain, behavior and thyroid glands of infants and children. Neurological effects include changes to brain structure and disrupted dopaminergic processes. High exposure to BPA can be a cause of cancer. While the FDA has claimed BPA is safe at low levels, its hazardous properties affect different groups of people differently. For example, pregnant women seem to have notably lower tolerance.
With the possible side effects being given media attention, many people are avoiding this compound. To protect yourself, be a conscious consumer. You can also reduce exposure by avoiding heat while handling plastics, as heat can cause plastic to break down and allow BPA to spread into the body.