Sunday, June 7, 2009
Bisphenol A, used in commerce since the 1950s, is added to plastics to give them strength. It is used in the synthesis of polyesters, polysulfones, and polyether ketones; as an antioxidant in some plasticizers; and as a polymerization inhibitor in PVC. It is a key monomer in production of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastic, which is clear and nearly shatter-proof, is used to make a variety of common products including baby and water bottles; sports equipment, medical and dental devices; dental fillings and sealants; lenses, CDs and DVDs; and household electronics. Epoxy resins containing bisphenol A are used as coatings on the inside of almost all food and beverage cans. Bisphenol A is also a precursor to the flame retardant, tetrabromobisphenol A, and was formerly used as a fungicide.
Over the past decade, a growing body of scientific studies has linked the chemical to breast cancer, testicular cancer, diabetes, hyperactivity, obesity, low sperm count, miscarriage, early onset of puberty and other reproductive problems in laboratory animals. More recent studies using human data have linked BPA to heart disease and diabetes. It has now been found to interfere with the effects of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients.
Researchers have found that BPA leaches from containers into food and beverages, even at cold temperatures. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health published earlier this month found that subjects who drank liquids from plastic bottles containing BPA had a 69 percent increase in the BPA in their urine.
The chemical industry, which rakes in an estimated $6 billion in global BPA sales annually, is downright hostile to the idea of limiting BPA to things you don't eat on, like cell phones, computer casings and washing machine paint.
So what can we do to show these major corporations that we don’t appreciate them playing Russian Roulette with our health?
1. Phone Coca-Cola toll-free and express your concerns: 1-800-GET-COKE, ext. 2.
2. Phone Del Monte toll-free and express your concerns: 1-800-543-3090.
3. Visit the websites of the companies involved (Coca-Cola, Alcoa, Crown, North American Metal Packaging Alliance, Inc., Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), American Chemistry Council, Del Monte) and send an email expressing your concerns.
4. Try to avoid using containers containing BPA as much as possible and let the manufactureres know why you are making these changes.
5. Spread the word with your friends and encourage them to take action also. (Suggestions #1, 2, & 3 are free!)
6. Do you have a blog, website, Facebook, MySpace, etc? Do a small article and post. (Also free!)
And remember, these corporations respond best to actions that reduce their profit (such as boycotting products). Demand your right to a BPA-free body!
Posted by Pippa