Bisphenol A is found in common items such as polycarbonate plastic (used in CDs, DVDs, computer casing, household appliances etc.) or epoxy resins which cover the inside of many food and drink tins, and which are also found in many paint products and wall cladding, as well as adhesives used in building and decorating, and dental fillings. They are also sometimes found as additives in other polycarbonate plastics.
It is hardly surprising then that, one way or another, small quantities of this chemical end up in our bodies. They can be emitted from our food into the air we breathe or from some thin plastics used to wrap our food especially when the packaging is heated.
Virtually everyone in the western world has bisphenol A in their bodies. It is a chemical which is known to have health effects e.g. hormonal imbalances, at fairly low levels of concentration (much lower than the limits labelled as safe by some authorities).
The EU, after a long time defending the interests of the industries, decided to ban indefinitely the use of bisphenol A in the plastics used to make baby bottles as, due to the implications it can cause for child development and the immune system as, when heated, it can pass from the plastic to the milk. Other uses which can contaminate the human body with bisphenol A, e.g. food tins, have not been banned.
There are very few chemicals which have been as extensively researched regarding their possible health effects. Hundreds of scientific studies on this substance have given cause for concern about possible health implications for humans.
Studies on animals have linked bisphenol A with a lowered sperm count, male genital defects, changes in behaviour such as aggressiveness or being unable to look after their children, changes in breast tissue which can encourage the development of tumours etc.
A US study published in the American Medical Association magazine, based on a study of hundreds of adults, measured levels of concentration of bisphenol A in the urine and looked for possible correlations between this and numerous health issues. They found a clear link with type 2 diabetes, hepatic enzymes and cardiovascular problems.
Bisphenol A has also been linked to immunological changes, effects on the thyroid, obesity, female fertility problems, polycystic ovaries, foetal chromosomal defects, premature puberty in girls, prostate disorders, genitourinary defects etc.