It would be very difficult to find a household that does not have at least one of these items: plastic bottles and containers, plastic bags, canned food and drinks, and non-stick cookware. These are just everyday materials that would be difficult to live without. But there is one more thing they have in common; a material used in their production that can pose potential risk to the family’s health – Bisphenol A or BPA.
BPA’s possible health risks first came into public consciousness in 2008, after studies on its use in food applications and its effects on human reproductive systems were released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Toxicology Program Center. 
The FDA has since imposed regulations on the use of BPA and continues to conduct further research on the matter, but it is still good advice to avoid the use of products with the chemical to ensure the family’s safety.
Here is a quick guide to BPA:
What is BPA?
BPA is a chemical component present in polycarbonate plastics used in the manufacturing of certain beverage containers and most food can liners. 
Where can BPA be found?
Polycarbonate plastics are usually found in water and infant bottles, compact discs, impact-resistant safety equipment, and medical devices. They are also found in resins used to coat metal products such as food cans, bottle tops, and water supply pipes. 
How does it get into the body?
People are exposed to BPA because, just like many packaging components, it may migrate or leach from the food packaging into foods or beverages. Containers that have been washed many times and exposed to high temperatures (such as when microwaving) also tend to give off more toxins. 
Opt for kitchen items that are both BPA-free and can stand high temperatures. Basics2you’s Collapsible Silicone Colander and Silicone Cutting and Chopping Board are made with silicone, making them free of BPA and also safe for dishwashing and sterilization.
Why are people concerned about BPA?
One reason to be concerned about BPA is because exposure to it is widespread. The FDA states that, just like many packaging materials, it can leak into food and drink, and low doses of it are not harmful  – however, due to its existence in everyday materials, those small exposures may add up.
What are the reported effects of long-term exposure to BPA?
Many scientific studies have been conducted on its effects in humans. The largest study, conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that exposure to high levels of BPA can lead to increased exposure to type 2 diabetes and obesity. A separate study by the National Toxicology Program of the Department of Health and Human Services, concluded that BPA exposure may have adverse effects on human development and reproduction.
What can I do to prevent exposure to BPA?
1. “Update on Bisphenol A (BPA) for Use in Food Contact Applications” by US FDA, November 2014
2/3. “Bisphenol A” by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, January 2015
4/6. “Questions & Answers on Bisphenol A (BPA) Use in Food Contact Applications” by US FDA, June 2015
5. “Burning Question: Is it OK to Heat Food in Plastic?” by The Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2013
6. “Association of Urinary Bisphenol A Concentration With Medical Disorders and Laboratory Abnormalities in Adults” by The Journal of the American Medical Association, September 17, 200
7. “Bisphenol A (BPA)” Factsheet by National Toxicology Program
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Main image courtesy of theantidotelife.com