BPA in the Land of Urban Legends

Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Posted in SAFETY

If you’ve done any reading on the internet lately, you’ve probably run across quite a few health related urban legends about BPA. One of the popular legends is that BPA causes cancer. For example, drinking from a plastic water bottle could cause such harm to the body. That would be quite important, if it were true.

While it’s easy to find urban legends about BPA, it’s not so common to find media articles aimed at debunking the myths. Doing just that, the recent article from the Express addresses what really does and doesn’t contribute to the development of cancer.

Regarding BPA and cancer, the article highlights information from Cancer Research UK, which is an organization that is dedicated to curing cancer. Based in the UK, the non-profit organization is the world’s largest independent funder of cancer research and currently funds research in 39 countries worldwide.

What Cancer Research UK has to say about BPA and plastic water bottles is important. This organization’s answer to the questionDoes using plastic bottles and containers cause cancer?” directly addresses the common urban legend:

No. There is no good evidence that people can get cancer from using plastics. So, doing things like drinking from plastic bottles or using plastic containers and food bags won’t increase your risk of cancer. Some people think that chemicals that can be found in plastics, like bisphenol A (BPA) can get into our food or drink and then cause cancer. Even though some studies have found certain chemicals in plastics can end up in things we may eat and drink, the levels are low, and within a range considered safe to humans.

There you have it, but Cancer Research UK isn’t alone in its perspective. Government agencies around the world have reviewed the science on BPA and reach essentially the same conclusion.

For example, assessments conducted in Europe, Japan and the U.S. all conclude that BPA is not likely to be carcinogenic. Most recently, scientists with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completed the CLARITY Core study on BPA. The study involved lifetime exposure of laboratory animals to BPA and is the largest study ever conducted on BPA.

The study found little evidence that BPA could be carcinogenic, which supports conclusions previously reached by governments around the world. More generally, FDA addresses the safety of BPA with a Q&A on its website. The straightforward answer to the question “Is BPA safe?” is “Yes.”

So what does cause cancer? Cancer Research UK reports that smoking, an unhealthy diet, drinking too much alcohol, obesity and UV exposure have been proven to increase the risk of cancer. That may not be an exciting urban legend, but they are things you can and should address to protect your health.