Despite the concerns surrounding the issue, the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still believe that the benefits of the dental treatments far outweigh the risks associated with trace elements of BPA that may be released (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/21/health/21well.html).
Health Issues Triggered by BPA
Until attention was focused on the issue, the most extensive research on BPA was conducted on laboratory animals, not humans. Using that research, scientists have found that BPA is like estrogen (female sex hormone) in regards to how it impacts the body. Unusual levels of estrogen have been linked to causing conditions such as breast cancer, mood swings, strokes and deep vein thrombosis. When it comes to BPA, the chemical has been linked to:
- Childhood asthma
- Puberty acceleration
- Sexual dysfunction
- Ovarian Cysts
- Heart disease
- Poses threats to the brain, prostate and other organs.
Minimize BPA Exposure
Because major government authorities have deemed the substance safe, BPA is still used in many plastics and manufacturing. In order to minimize the risk of accidentally consuming the toxin, individuals can follow some safety precautions including:
- When ever possible, choose fresh, organic foods over canned goods. Many cans are lined with a plastic coating containing BPA and the foods inside are in some type of liquid, upping the odds of seepage.
- Only use microwave safe dishware when using that device to cook food. Plastic containers can leak the chemical when heated.
- Plastics should be washed by hand, not the dishwasher as that can release BPA.
- New parents should always choose powdered baby formula versus liquid as liquid may increase toxin leakage.
- All plastic consumer products are marked with a number on the bottom. Shoppers should skip any item packaged in plastics labeled with code #7 and should look for #1, #2 and #4 codes instead.
- Skip bottled water, tap water may be a healthier option.
Parents should in no way avoid bringing their child to the dentist because of the issue and instead should have a conversation with their child's dental care provider. A dentist will be familiar with the studies and can choose filling and sealant options that have not been linked to the BPA controversy, because not all of them have been. Caregivers looking for a dentist can call 1-800-DENTIST to get the name of a local provider 24/7.