BPA or Bisphenol-A is an industrial chemical used in manufacturing plastics and epoxy resin. It is estimated that over 300 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide.
BPA is used in plastic because its properties are easily molded, resistant to temperature, stiffness, strength, and optical clarity. The epoxy resin is used to coat the inside of metal cans to prevent rust from contaminating the food contents.
According to a lot of researches, they found that BPA in plastic is harmful to human beings. More so, the level of exposure of BPA to human is quite alarming because we come in contact with plastic every day.
Soccer Parents Be Aware
Apart from the long list below, BPA plastic is also used to make sports water bottles, food containers, mouth guards, and other soccer equipment. Also, they are found in common items such as:
- Items packaged in plastic containers
- Canned foods and drinks that are coated with the epoxy resin on the inside of the can.
- Toiletries made of plastics
- Feminine hygiene products
- Thermal printer receipts
- CDs and DVDs
- Household electronics
- Eyeglass lenses
- Dental filling sealants
How To Look For Labels
Parents should check on plastic bottles and containers for the recycle logo at the bottom. It looks like a triangle with a number in it.
If you see number 3, 7 or no number at all, the plastic container may have BPA in it. You should not buy any products in plastic with those numbers on it.
On canned food and drinks look for “BPA Free” label.
Long Term Health Effect
Long term exposure to BPA may seriously cause harm to adults and children. Studies show that BPA can cause the following:
- Disrupts the functions of endocrine glands that make the hormone in our body.
- Causes negative effects on the brain.
- Affect the prostate gland of fetuses
- Adverse behavior of children
- Can cause cancers.
- Can cause high blood pressure
- Leading to decreased sperm quality and infertility
- Cause early puberty, especially in girls.
- Stimulates the mammary gland development in men
- Disrupted reproductive cycles and ovarian dysfunction,
- Causes heart disease,
- And numerous other health problems.
Kids Have Higher Exposure To BPA Than Adults
Research has shown that kids have more exposure BPA than adults because BPA is also present in baby plastic feeding bottles, pacifiers, plastic spoons, plates and cups at a young age.
Are There Alternatives
There is some alternative to choose from rather than exposing your family to BPA. You can choose products made of the following:
- Stainless steel
- Opt for silicon
- Look for “BPA Free” labels on plastic containers and cans.
As soccer parents, you can choose stainless steel water bottles and containers, “BPA free” labeled water bottles and containers, and BPA free mouth guards.
How To Avoid BPA
To be honest, this is quite a challenge because the water and food we consume might already be exposed to BPA during processing.
However, we can take the following steps to ensure we keep BPA away from our kids :
- Avoid packaged foods with recycled numbers 3 and 7 labels.
- Eat fresh foods instead, they are healthier for our kids.
- Avoid canned foods and drinks. The metal cans might be coated inside with epoxy resin.
- Look out for plastic toys and pacifiers. They might be made from BPA plastics.
- Store food in non-plastic containers. Use glass, stainless steel, and ceramic products instead.
- Do not heat or freeze food in plastic containers because over time its structure will deteriorate allowing BPA to leach into the food.
You may also talk to your kid’s coach and other parents about the dangers of BPA. Ask everyone to help in reducing BPA exposure at the soccer field.
Controversy Of BPA Claims
There is more than 100 research that came to the conclusion that BPA in plastic is dangerous to humans.
Some health authorities including US FDA and scientists claimed the researches carried out were done on rodents with exposure to high levels of BPA. Therefore the results do not reflect human exposure to BPA in plastic.
However, these health authorities are relying heavily on industry-sponsored research to make their decisions. This raised some doubts about the integrity of their decision as they care more for profit than people’s lives.
My Thoughts On BPA
I don’t think I should take the assurance by FDA as a guarantee that BPA is safe. As responsible parents, we should not ignore this warning but to take appropriate actions.
Soccer should be a platform where we encourage health, fitness, fun, and positive character building. Anything that may cause illness to our kids should be limited or avoided at all costs.
Plastic is not only harmful to human but is a major contributor to environmental pollution and threat to marine life. If possible we should avoid using plastic altogether.
Do you have any comments or questions about BPA? Please leave a comment below.
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