Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in production of some plastics. Bisphenol A has been the subject of much research and controversy. Bisphenol A is an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors disrupt hormones. Bisphenol A disrupts sex hormones. Many other chemicals also disrupt sex hormones too. Among them are chemicals that are used to make BPA-free products. (In other words, if its not made with BPA it may still have the same effects as BPA.) But BPA is widely used and just about everyone is exposed to it. Exposure to BPA is associated with:
- Early puberty
- Undescended testicles
- Masculinized behavior in females
- Breast cancer
- Heart Disease
- And other things.
Bisphenol A and Exposure
Bisphenol A must get into a person’s body before it can cause any changes in hormones. If Bisphenol A is not leaching out of a product then the product cannot cause harm. We can be exposed to chemicals by inhaling them (air pollution, cigarettes or workplace exposure). We can also be exposed by eating or drinking. Exposure through food and beverages seems to be the main route for Bisphenol A. When we eat or drink something it enters the stomach and the small intestine and enters the blood stream. The blood then feeds into the liver. Many things are detoxified as they pass through the liver. This is called the “First Pass” effect. Occasionally things become more toxic after they pass through the liver. No need to worry about that now. Bisphenol A consumed through food and drink would go through the “First Pass.” It should then be metabolized by the liver and made harmless. Or less harmful. It has been argued that human exposure to Bisphenol A is unimportant because people are protected by the “First Pass” effect.
What does it mean if Bisphenol A gets under your tongue?
New research shows that BPA is not only swallowed and given the “First Pass.” It can also enter your body by being absorbed under the tongue. Like nitroglycerin for heart patients. If Bisphenol A is absorbed under the tongue it does not get the “First Pass.” It by-passes the liver is not metabolized. Instead it can travel throughout your body where it behaves like estrogen. And also disrupts male sex hormones (androgens).
How can I avoid Bisphenol A?
Until the research settles around BPA it seems like a good idea to avoid it. And to avoid other estrogen mimics and androgen disruptors too. Use a glass bottle. Your drink or water will taste better too.
How to make a Bisphenol A free water bottle?
Get a glass bottle. Wrap it in duct tape. Don’t seal the lid. Wrapping the bottle in duct tape will minimize the risk that you will get glass shards on the floor if it breaks. Still, you should be careful with it.
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Gayrard V, Lacroix MZ, Collet SH, Viguié C, Bousquet-Melou A, Toutain PL, & Picard-Hagen N (2013). High Bioavailability of Bisphenol A from Sublingual Exposure. Environmental health perspectives PMID: 23761051