With the summer months starting to cool, one thing is certain—it’s time to store the beach toys for next summer and dust off the backpacks and notebooks for the upcoming schoolyear. Whether back-to-school means returning to the routine of nightly homework or packing lunches in the morning, one thing that helps ensure the schoolyear starts off safely and successfully is polycarbonate plastic made from bisphenol A (BPA).
BPA is a building block chemical used to make a certain kind of plastic known as polycarbonate, which has properties that make many of the items we use throughout the schoolyear safe, durable, and reliable. Polycarbonate makes products, like lab goggles or eyeglasses, lightweight and clear. And polycarbonate’s shatter-resistance makes it all the more useful to keep classrooms productive and safe.
Take a look at our list of Back-to-School Basics to see how BPA is used in popular items to start the school year off right:
- Sports equipment – For the aspiring varsity athletes, polycarbonate is especially important for the fall sports. Strong, shatter-resistant polycarbonate is used to make helmets, sports safety goggles, and visors used in football and lacrosse to keep athletes safe and performing at the top of their game.
- Eyeglasses – When hitting the books hard, sometimes your eyes need a helping hand. Polycarbonate is used in lenses, making them highly shatter-resistant and extremely light-weight. This means looking cool and having a comfortable wear, while being protected from accidental mishaps in a bookbag.
- Electronic equipment – Accidents happen, but thanks to polycarbonate, students can avoid disaster. Laptops, tablets, and cell phones are durable and break-resistant, and polycarbonate films help to prevent scratches on the screens.
- Lab safety goggles – To prevent accidental injury to the eyes, lab safety goggles are an essential part of every school’s science projects. Polycarbonate gives these goggles their clear, shatter-resistant, and lightweight properties.
Products made with polycarbonate help keep us (and our students) safe and set for a successful schoolyear, and using BPA to make the polycarbonate for these products is safe as well. BPA is one of the most widely studied chemicals in use today, and government agencies around the world, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) have all agreed: BPA is safe in consumer products. “The FDA has routinely considered and evaluated the scientific evidence surrounding the use of BPA and continues to conclude that BPA is safe for the currently authorized uses in food containers and packaging.”
In fact, senior scientists at FDA recently conducted the CLARITY Core Study. The results, which build upon the already extensive data collected in FDA’s 2014 assessment, reaffirm that BPA is unlikely to cause health effects at the very low levels to which people are exposed. As concisely stated on FDA’s website: “Is BPA safe? – Yes.”
So clear out the cobwebs in your backpack, and stock up on these Back-to-School Basics to set yourself up for a successful schoolyear. To learn more about BPA, visit www.FactsAboutBPA.org.