BPA harms human health – and it's nearly impossible to avoid

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I vividly recall when I was pregnant and preparing for my first child, and I became aware of the push to avoid baby bottles and other consumer projects that contained the industrial chemical BPA. As a soon-to-be new mother, I felt overwhelmed at how difficult it was to know whether the products I was buying would be safe for my child.

That was 15 years ago, and it’s stunning to look back on how little has changed. Many plastic products have been marketed as BPA-free over the last decade, but unfortunately studies have shown that BPA alternatives are not necessarily any safer. And BPA is still ubiquitous in everyday consumer products. The main thing that’s changed over the last 15 years is that researchers now know far more about the chemical’s potentially detrimental effects on human health.

Now, in response to petitions and pressure from advocacy groups, the Food and Drug Administration is poised to reassess BPA’s health effects.

Tracey Woodruff, an expert on the link between environmental pollution and reproductive health at the University of California, San Francisco, details the deep and ever-growing body of evidence documenting BPA’s ability to interfere with reproductive processes, fetal and child development, metabolism and more.

Also today:

Amanda Mascarelli

Senior Health and Medicine Editor

The chemical BPA has been shown to leach from food packaging products into our bodies. Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Decades of research document the detrimental health effects of BPA – an expert on environmental pollution and maternal health explains what it all means

Tracey Woodruff, University of California, San Francisco

Due to increasing concerns over the health hazards posed by BPA, the Food and Drug Administration plans to reevaluate the safety of the controversial chemical for use in everyday products.

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