by Joanne Carr, RHN, BA
· Bisphenol A is one of the most widely used synthetic substances in the world
· It is added to polycarbonates for improved flexibility
· There are no domestic BPA (Bisphenol A) manufacturing plants; Canadian companies must import BPA Current Situation
· Bisphenol A has become controversial because it mimics estrogen and thus could induce hormonal responses
· Although BPA is in hundreds of products, from the plastic lenses of glasses to the coverings of compact discs and DVDs, the uses that have caused controversy are those such as plastic baby bottles or lacquer linings inside tin cans, which allow it to come into contact with food and beverages.
· According to the Environment Defence, an environmental organization, Bisphenol A is a hormone disruptor. The group claims that studies have linked low-dose BPA exposure with such effects as: permanent changes to the genital tract; increased prostate weight; decline in testosterone; breast cells predisposed to cancer; and hyperactivity.
Identification of Plastics
There are 7 classes of plastics used in packaging applications. Type 7 is the catch-all "other" class, and some type 7 plastics, such as polycarbonate (sometimes identified with the letters "PC" in or near the recycling symbol) and epoxy resins, are made from bisphenol A monomer. Type 3 (PVC) can also contain bisphenol A as an antioxidant in plasticizers. Types 1 (PET), 2 (HDPE), 4 (LDPE), 5 (polypropylene), and 6 (polystyrene) do not use bisphenol A during polymerization or package forming, and thus will not leach bisphenol A into food or beverages.
Omega Alpha’s Safe Packaging Practices
In order to alleviate any doubt, not all “plastics” contain Bisphenol-A. At Omega Alpha we use only Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and High density polyethylene (HDPE) bottles, which are both safe when in contact with food and/or liquid products. Just turn the bottle upside down to view the recycling symbol with #1 or 2 inside.
With over 10 years experience in the holistic health field, Joanne Carr R.H.N., B.A., is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who has lectured at natural health product seminars for retailers and consumers across Canada. She also contributes to various natural health publications.