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Is BPA Worth Worrying About?

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Disposable water bottles may contain BPA iStockphoto/Thinkstock

While shopping in a big box warehouse yesterday, an elderly man serving samples of a brand name veggie-fruit juice drink was touting the product’s heart-health and anti-cancer properties to anyone passing by.

That made me think about how marketers are going all out to tap into the health consciousness of modern American families.

What struck me next was the irony of what could be lurking inside that otherwise innocent looking can.

Yes, the juice may contain our daily servings of fruit and vegetables, but what's not listed on the label could mean you are getting more for your money than you think.

Just one can could offer you or your family member a super-charged dose of the industrial chemical BPA or bisphenol A, according to recent research.

So what’s the big deal? Is BPA really something worth worrying about?

Well, some scientists think so. They are concerned about BPA because the chemical can mimic the hormone estrogen.

Previous lab studies have shown high levels of BPA, classified as a “hormone disruptor” that upsets the normal sexual development and infertility of animals.

There are also cancer, diabetes, obesity and immune system concerns.

BPA is found in the epoxy resins used to coat the inside of food and beverage containers ranging from soup, vegetables and juice to meat and baby formula, and of course, in clear polycarbonate bottles.

Several studies have shown that at least some BPA from can linings leach into the foods they hold.

BPA was added to canned packaging to prevent consumer risk of food poisoning. Without some type of lining, metal cans corrode allowing microbial bacteria to contaminate the food.

The jury is still out on BPA. The question is, what’s worse, the illness or the cure?

BPA, which has been used in food production for the last 35 years, may have helped eliminate some food-borne illnesses while having given rise to others.

In 2011, Harvard School of Public Health researchers found that after eating canned soup, people have dramatically higher BPA exposure than people who ate the same amount of freshly prepared soup. Each group was tested after consuming soup for five days in a row.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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