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The Blue & Gray Press | August 15, 2018

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Plastic products pose threat with dangerous chemical

By ASHLEY TENSLEY

Everywhere around us we face dangers, from airborne pathogens to people carrying concealed weapons, but no one ever thinks about the risks we take by drinking from our plastic Dasani water bottles. More recently, with many different health movements emerging, we see a lot of reusable tumblers and water bottles with stickers on them stating that they are “BPA Free.”

Bisphenol A (BPA), is an organic compound used to make polycarbonate which is used widely by manufacturers that produce products using hard, clear plastic such as disposable and reusable water bottles.

With BPA being a main component in items made from plastic, we come in contact with them more than we realize. Despite its popularity, BPA has the potential to do more harm than good to us as humans, and even more so to infants whose systems have not developed enough to handle that much BPA intake.

BPA is not only found in water bottles, but also in canned foods, dental sealants, plastic baby bottles and sippy cups for children. After scientific testing where lab animals were exposed to the compound, it was found to be linked to the increasing of hormone levels in the body from normal to abnormal, which can affect the unborn children of pregnant.

This has caused widespread alarm in mothers especially for their small children that ingest these chemicals every day. If the hormone levels are abnormal in children this will corrupt factors such as, the timing of puberty and cause for reproductive disorders. The more human beings are exposed to this chemical, the more children are at developmental risk.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to research the chemical makeup of BPA and noted that it has hormonal risks on the human body. The federal government started funding extensive research into the risks of BPA and the affects it has on us.

On Oct. 28, 2008 the FDA received a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) asking the FDA to prohibit the use of BPA in human food and packaging, but the FDA denied this petition in March of 2012. Their reason for denial was due to their belief that the most appropriate way to respond would be to do more extensive research.

As citizens, we cannot force the government or manufacturing companies to stop the widespread usage of this potentially dangerous chemical by ourselves, but we can force the FDA to pay attention to these risks by raising awareness of its dangers.

Manufacturing companies who have been confronted with the concerns of citizens have now started to market their products towards these concerned individuals by selling BPA Free plastic products, as well as using glass for products that adults and infants drink from.

Even though all the risks may not be known or confirmed, scienctific research shows us that this chemical compound is not the safest for consumption, and the FDA strongly advises citizens to take measures to have as little contact with BPA internally as possible.