The Underestimated Role of Plastics in Hormonal Imbalances

BPA, or bisphenol – A, is a controversial industrial chemical that has been used to make plastics, specifically polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, since the 1960’s. It is most commonly present in food and beverage containers including water bottles, food cans, and baby bottles.

Although BPA is widely used in the US, research has shown that the chemical can seep into foods and beverages, leading it to have restricted use in the EU, Canada, China, and more. BPA poses a greater risk for infants and children as it can impact their brain health and behavior. According to @Healthline, other effects of  BPA exposure may include obesity, asthma, and diabetes.

Hormones are especially impacted by BPA: as the chemical has been shown to mimic estrogen, it can bind to estrogen receptors and affect reproductive development. In many cases, it can also interfere with thyroid function and increase risk of hormonal imbalance, infertility, and PCOS.

How to decrease BPA exposure:

  • BPA free products: When buying products, look for labels that reveal if they are BPA free.
  • Less canned and packaged foods: Eat as much fresh food as possible and try to cut down on plastic packaging
  • Avoid microwaving plastic: BPA exposure can increase when exposed to heat so when dealing with hot food/beverages, use materials such as glass or steel instead.

Information credit: @mayoclinic