Don’t be duped any longer… become a smart consumer today
With all of the research out there about endocrine disrupters and the role they play in obesity, cancer, and a whole host of other serious health issues, you would think that we would want these chemicals out of our environment as quickly as humanly possible.
And yet, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—the very federal agency tasked with protecting the American public from threats like this—is still authorizing the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food packaging and telling consumers that it’s perfectly safe… despite a mountain of startling evidence to the contrary.
Ignoring their own science
Let me be perfectly clear about just how ridiculous this is: The FDA has waved off its own scientific findings to allow the use of BPA to continue.1
The FDA-led Consortium Linking Academic and Regulatory Insights on BPA Toxicity (CLARITY-BPA) study found that, compared with controls, more than 20 percent of lab animals exposed to even the lowest doses of BPA suffered significant effects—including breast cancer, kidney disease, and prostatitis.
Sure, it’s possible that we wouldn’t see these same effects in human subjects. But is that really a chance we want to take with a compound that shouldn’t be on store shelves to begin with?
Plus, actual human data has raised similar red flags. Over the last five years alone, nearly 100 published studies have established ties between BPA and a host of reproductive, behavioral, and metabolic disorders.
Needless to say, this is a major problem. Especially when you consider how the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that more than 90 percent of people over six years of age have detectable levels of BPA in their body.
And if the FDA’s laboratory findings are any indication, the consequences hit both genders, of all ages, equally hard, exhibiting effects on numerous organs—ovaries, testicles, the reproductive tracts, breasts, liver, kidneys, and the thyroid and pituitary glands.
BPA levels have also been linked with weight gain in women. And as I mentioned earlier, these effects are visible even with very small exposures.
But if you think that’s bad, buckle up—the news gets much, much worse. Because the latest research suggests that human BPA levels might actually be a lot higher than we once thought. And the death toll could be far higher, too…
Actual BPA levels could be 44 times higher
In a study published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology at the end of last year, researchers employed a more direct method of evaluating BPA levels—one that’s able to measure the chemical’s metabolites in the human body more accurately.
(Previous tests have only been able to measure BPA metabolites by using an enzyme solution to restore them back into whole BPA. Whereas this new test measures the metabolites themselves—no enzyme solution necessary.)
According to comparison tests, the new method of measuring BPA revealed levels that were as much as 44 times higher than what had previously been reported through NHANES.2 (Which, as I mentioned above, already showed concerning evidence that the vast majority of the population has detectable levels of the chemical in their system.)
To make matters worse, these testing disparities increased with greater BPA exposures. In other words, the higher the exposure, the more BPA the original tests missed.
And seeing as how these are the very numbers that the FDA has used to bolster their claim that exposures are low and the chemical is safe, I don’t think I need to explain the problem here.
Because it turns out, the FDA’s evidence is severely flawed—and that should concern everyone.
High levels are downright lethal
Sadly, the bad news doesn’t end there. In fact, this story only gets scarier…
Another new study, published just this past August, showed that people with high levels of BPA in their urine are almost 50 percent more likely to die over the next decade.3
Now, when you consider BPA’s suspected role in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease—three major killers all on their own—this news shouldn’t exactly come as a surprise. But it is the first study to show that this supposedly “safe” chemical is independently lethal.
And if that doesn’t prompt the FDA to act fast, then you have to wonder what will.
Then again, expecting any federal agency to move faster than a snail’s pace is wishful thinking, whether lives are at stake or not. So once again, if you want to stay safe, you’re going to have to protect yourself.
And that starts with knowing and understanding where you will find BPA…
Weeding out the sources
BPA has been banned in baby products for some time now. But it’s still authorized for wider use in plastics and epoxy resins.
You’ll find the chemical in can linings, food and drink packages, and in water pipes to prevent corrosion. In addition, beverage containers, bottles, plastic dinnerware, auto parts, and toys are all common sources of exposure, too.
But guess what? The thermal paper you’ll find in adding machines, cash registers, and credit card terminals is another sneaky source of the chemical. (Which really just shows how this chemical is hiding practically everywhere you turn.)
Now, hunting down all these hidden sources may seem like an impossible task.
But, fortunately, you’ll find that BPA is relatively easy to avoid if you make a few key changes. Like using glass or stainless steel instead of plastic, avoiding canned foods and takeout containers, and never touching your cash register receipts.
Now, that last point is especially important in the midst of a pandemic—and as we head into yet another cold and flu season. That’s because research has shown that the use of hand creams, soaps, and yes, hand sanitizers dramatically increases the amount of BPA absorbed into your body from paper cash register receipts.4
So I’ll just repeat: Do not touch those paper receipts. And especially avoid them if you’ve coated your hands in sanitizer first. If you must make contact, use gloves. But the safest route is to avoid them altogether—ask to have them emailed to you instead, if you can.
Why “BPA-free” doesn’t mean risk-free
In addition to being aware of BPA-containing products, you should also be wary of “BPA-free” labels. That’s because many of the chemicals used to replace BPA look to be just as hazardous to your health.
In essence, BPA has emerged as the “trans fats” of the plastic world. The government took longer than it should have to condemn it (and even then, only did so halfheartedly). This left manufacturers with plenty of time to stay ahead of consumer demand and to come up with replacement chemicals in the meantime.
One such replacement is called “bisphenol S” (BPS). And it shouldn’t shock you to hear that it’s giving scientists a serious case of déjà vu.
Case in point: Studies over the last half decade show that BPS encourages fat cell formation. In one study, researchers used cells taken from female subjects’ hips, thighs, and abdomen.
Unsurprisingly, they found that exposure to very large, moderate, and very small BPS concentrations triggered significant fat cell accumulations.5 And just like with BPA, that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Chemically, BPS is only slightly different in structure than BPA. So technically, companies using it can boast “BPA-free” on their product labels. But it’s clear that BPS is at least as dangerous as BPA when it comes to disrupting your hormones. And even small exposures can lead to very big consequences for your metabolism.
So everyone choosing “BPA-free” products in the hopes of staying healthier have more-or-less been duped… again.
Sadly, there’s a lot of money to be made using this kind of deception. But the worst part is, it will probably be another decade (or longer) before the hammer comes down on BPS, too—assuming it ever does. (That’s just how these things go.)
In the meantime, I urge you to follow this small-but-crucial bit of advice: Don’t eat or drink out of plastic—ever.
Opt for stainless steel and glass containers instead. In fact, these “replacements” are the most widely available options for food and beverage storage. They may be heavier and more expensive. But if you ask me, those tradeoffs are worth it when your health is at stake.
- “Endocrine Society Experts Question FDA’s Statement on BPA.” Medscape Medical News, 11/01/2018. (medscape.com/viewarticle/904278)
- Gerona R, et al. “BPA: have flawed analytical techniques compromised risk assessments?” The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/S2213-8587(19)30381-X
- Bao W, et al. “Association Between Bisphenol A Exposure and Risk of All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality in US Adults.” JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Aug 3;3(8):e2011620
- Hormann AM, et al. “Holding Thermal Receipt Paper and Eating Food after Using Hand Sanitizer Results in High Serum Bioactive and Urine Total Levels of Bisphenol A (BPA).” PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (10): e110509
- Boucher JG, et al. “Bisphenol S Induces Adipogenesis in Primary Human Preadipocytes From Female Donors.” Endocrinology. 2016 Apr;157(4):1397-407.