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No More BPA

Scientific evidence links our routine exposure to BPA to a range of diseases, including breast cancer.

As diet continues to be our main route of exposure to BPA, Breast Cancer UK is calling for it to be removed from all food and drinks packaging and replaced with safer alternatives.

What is BPA?

BPA is a synthetic chemical that was originally used to enhance the growth of cattle and poultry. It was discovered to mimic oestrogen in the 1930’s and was briefly used as an oestrogen replacement for women. During the 1950’s the chemical industry discovered that BPA hardened plastics and started to use it widely in products.

How does BPA affect my body?

BPA disrupts the hormone system. It mimics oestrogen and affects the development of mammary glands. BPA has been linked to breast cancer, as well as to prostate cancer, endometriosis, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. It is also thought to affect brain development and behaviour. 

Why ban it from food and drinks packaging?

Scientific studies have found that our main route of exposure to BPA is via our food and drink. BPA leaches from the packaging and into the products, especially when they are scratched or heated during cooking and in the dishwasher.

Yet BPA is still used in a lot of plastic food and drinks packaging - microwave ovenware, storage containers, water and milk bottles as well as plastic tableware and cutlery, which is especially popular for toddlers and young children. It’s also used to make the epoxy resins that line tins of food, such as baked beans, soup and tomatoes and cans of fizzy and alcoholic drinks.

The Government sanctions the use of BPA because it says our exposure levels are low. Yet scientists are not convinced. They warn that even a low dose a day can affect our health.

“Frankly, for BPA, the science is done... We have more than enough information ... to make the reasonable decision to ban, or at least take steps to limit exposure.”

Professor Tom Zoellor, co-author of ‘State of the Science on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals’ (WHO/UNEP 2012)