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Super dose of BPA while sipping your coffee with a  plastic lid !

Have you heard about the recent controversy surrounding bisphenol A (BPA) and how much of it is considered safe ? It’s a big deal, especially for those concerned about the effects of this chemical on our health.

BPA is a widely used chemical in the production of plastics, and it’s found in many everyday items, including plastic water bottles, food containers, and even the lining of metal cans used for beverages like soda.

Researchers have found that exposure to BPA, even at low levels, can potentially affect brain function, contribute to conditions like ADHD and autism, increase the risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases, and even impact fertility and reproductive health.

In December 2021, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) released a report suggesting that the safe daily intake level for BPA should be much lower – a staggering 20,000 times lower than the currently recommended exposure levels in the European Union (EU). That’s a significant difference!

In a  TEDx talk highlighting the presence of BPA in disposable coffee cup lids. Zandra Palma, MD, has documented the overwhelming levels we ingest.

While the future of BPA regulation or elimination remains uncertain, it’s crucial that we educate ourselves, our families, healthcare providers, and policymakers about the potential risks associated with BPA exposure. After all, our health and the health of future generations are at stake.

Family of Chemicals:

Remember this is a family of chemicals, including BPF, BPB, BPS, BPAF, BHPF, BADGE, and BPZ. So much more work needs to be done to remove these health concerning chemicals from our daily exposure

The constant push and pull between risk and industry considerations should be carefully weighed in favor of our health.

Take Aways:

Still drinking with the plastic lid on your cup, don’t !

Consuming Coke in cans….. did you know they use BPA ?

Check labels as the FDA has mandated BPA reporting.

Use safer products including glass, stainless and silicon, etc.

Read more: Guide-natural-breast-pumps/  

Ready to do something about the plastic issue ? See these organizations.

Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC): This is a global alliance of organizations, businesses, and activists working toward a world free of plastic pollution. PPC focuses on promoting solutions through education, policy, and cleanups.

5 Gyres Institute: A non-profit organization dedicated to researching and raising awareness about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans and implementing solutions to address the issue.

Surfrider Foundation: A grassroots organization that works to protect and preserve the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches, with a strong focus on reducing plastic pollution.

Upstream: A nonprofit organization that works to create a waste-free world by addressing the root causes of plastic pollution and promoting reuse and refill systems.

Greenpeace USA: The U.S. branch of the global environmental organization Greenpeace has campaigns and initiatives to address plastic pollution, including advocating for corporate responsibility and policy changes.

Sierra Club: One of the oldest and largest environmental organizations in the U.S., the Sierra Club has programs and campaigns aimed at reducing plastic waste and promoting sustainable alternatives.

Story of Stuff Project: An organization that creates educational resources and campaigns to expose the environmental and social impacts of overconsumption, including the proliferation of plastic waste.

Break Free From Plastic: A global movement of organizations and individuals working to create a world free of plastic pollution through policy changes, corporate accountability, and grassroots action.

BPA: A True Hot Mess

So, if you missed the recent debacle between the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the rest of the world around how much BPA is safe, you’re not alone. Only those with skin in the  game were paying attention.

That would include endocrine disruption researchers, healthcare providers who are concerned about exposure in their patients and of course, the plastics industry who depend on BPA for all the plastic we use and love. It is after all, a “high-volume production chemical”- global production is predicted at 7.96 million tons in 2024. And climbing.

Levels of BPA in urine or blood have been found to be closely related  to cognition and memory changes in animals, ADHD and autism in humans as well as predicting risk for diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease (acute MI and death). Levels are also closely related to declining sperm count and quality in adult men, and decreased libido and changes to the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in both sexes.

Oh, and let’s not forget that the new safe levels EFSA identified are based on the immunotoxic effects of BPA at very, very low levels of exposure. Do we have your attention now?

And if you really want a mind-blowing factoid check out one of our doctors, Zandra Palma MD’s TEDX talk on how much BPA is in disposable coffee cup lids. People used to laugh at our colleague, the famous immunologist Dr. Aristo Vojdani when he walked around at coffee breaks during medical conferences taking the disposable plastic lids off the paper coffee cups doctors had in their hands. Nobody is laughing now.

So, in December 2021, EFSA published their report finding that the level of BPA that is actually safe for humans- known as a Tolerable Daily Intake or TDI- is much lower than the EU current recommended exposure level. In fact 20,000 times lower. And definitely lower than any global regulatory level including in the U.S. This new safe level is 5,000 times lower than the average daily intake here in the land of regulatory capture. The European Commission (EC) in August 2023 stated that it was planning to propose adopting this revision of the TDI for BPA, including a ban on its use in food packaging materials. Whether that happens will be determined in the near future, hopefully the EU will take the comments we submitted this month seriously.

The comments were detailed in a paper we coauthored that has been accepted for publication in the prestigious Environmental Health Perspectives journal and will hopefully push the envelope on BPA and it’s alphabet-soup family (BPF, BPB, BPS, BPAF, BHPF, BADGE, and of course- BPZ). This paper is coauthored by some very big names in the field: Frederick VomSaal- the pre-eminent BPA researcher and environmental health author, Linda Birnbaum- former Director of the NIEHS (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences), and a long list of others whose research on BPA’s effects has appeared in peer-reviewed publications for the last 20 years.

You can read the Commentary here as it was submitted to the European Commission this month. It’s title: “The conflict between regulatory agencies over the 20,000-fold lowering of the tolerable daily intake (TDI) for bisphenol A (BPA) by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)”.  The title speaks for itself and lays out the reasons we’ve all been exposed to this powerful estrogen-mimetic for the past 90 years.

Will humans survive the Plasticene Epoch? That depends on us- what we teach our colleagues, patients, families, legislators, and friends about BPA. And yes, there is BPA in the linings of Coca-Cola cans, as there is in all other aluminum beverage cans. Coke has the usual webpage on the safety of BPA, better to admit and downplay any concerns, apparently.

Want to learn more? We have a monthly podcast on this and everything environmental toxicant-related at the EMEI Review. We also have a Wed. night class for healthcare providers we call Consult Detox Docs, where we answer any and all questions about cases, lab interpretation or general issues related to toxicants and health. And for those who are ready to learn it all- a 12 month intensive training in environmental medicine.

Besides, don’t you want to become a doc like Zandra Palma?