Understanding BPA

What is BPA?

BPA stands for bisphenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins for well over 50 years now. BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are commonly used for storing food and drink,like water bottles. Over the time frame that it has been used and the extent of products which have used it research has found that small quantities can be found in the urine of most adults around the world. Research indicates that BPA can seep into food and drink from the containers that are made with plastics using BPA. Certain circumstances such as heating the plastic containers up are also thought to greatly increase the risks of BPA seeping into the items to be consumed.

What are the effects of BPA?

There is a lot of research linking Bisphenol A to a range of serious health concerns, although it is still important to note that no single study conclusively proves that BPA is harmful to humans. Some of these include increasing the risk of certain cancers, reduced fertility, diabetes and birth defects. It is believed that BPA may mimic hormones and interfere with the endocrine system of glands, which release hormones around the body, hence the potentially wide ranging risks identified. For more details on this the NHS have gathered information in a page named 'Questions raised over BPA plastic' which you can read here.

How do you avoid BPA?

There is a growing call to stop manufacturing plastics with BPA and using BPA in food containers as there are less hazardous alternatives.

Individuals may find it hard to avoid BPA completely. They can choose products that do not have BPA in them but this is not necessarily going to be obvious through labeling or information on the container. As it stands, here in the UK the Food Standards Agency state that 'we deem that it is a safe chemical for use in production of plastics' so no ban or special label/information is needed of BPA inclusive items.

However, many large companies such as Nalgene, a brand that became internationally renowned for making water bottles from hard, clear and nearly unbreakable polycarbonate, have stopped using BPA plastic because of growing concern over this chemical ingredient. Some countries, such as Canada, and some individual States in the US have actually designated BPA as a toxic chemical which restricts its use and mean that products have to be labeled accordingly.

BPA-free water bottles reduce the associated risks by removing the BPA chemical from their materials. BPA-free water bottles can be used without the risk of BPA consumption.

What are companies doing about BPA?

HydraPak

Bisphenol-F (BPF) and Bisphenol-S (BPS) are popular replacements for Bisphenol-A (BPA) in plastic products. Here at HydraPak, in addition to being BPA-free, our products are also BPF- and BPS-free. Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), which makes up the large majority of our products, does not require BPA, BPS, BPF, or any such similar compound for synthesis (unlike polycarbonates or epoxy resins). In addition to this, we are very careful with material selection such that no contamination of BPA, BPS, or BPF is encountered during the manufacturing of HydraPak products.

To read more on HydraPak's plastics, click here.

Camelbak

All of our bottles and reservoirs are 100% free of BPA, BPS and BPF. Our products go through rigorous third-party testing to ensure that no harmful chemicals will leach into food or beverages. Independent researchers have also performed extraction tests to make sure our bottles meet the stringent food safety standards set by the FDA, the European Community, the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare, and California Prop 65. BPA, BPs, and BPF are not used in raw materials or manufacturing processes for making our reservoirs or bottles.

Camelbak have more information on their website which you can view here.

Sea to Summit

BPA stand for 'bisphenol A'. Used since the 60's to make plastics and epoxy resins it appeared widely in outdoor products such as water bottles, pots and pans. Some research shows that BPA can get into food and water through containers and that this can have an effect on your health. For this reason Sea to Summit has stopped using BPA wherever possible.

Sea to Summit highlight their stance here.

Ultimate Direction

Ultimate Direction’s bottles and gel flasks have always been made with FDA approved Polyethylene, a BPA-free plastic that is soft and squeezable, odorless and tasteless. Likewise, Ultimate Direction's hydration reservoirs are made with FDA approved polyurethane, also a BPA-free material.

UD cover this information in their FAQ's which you can read here.

GSI Outdoors

All products designed to come in contact with food or drink are BPA free.

GSI include this information in their FAQ's section which you can see here.

Platypus

All Platypus hydration products are 100% BPA-, BPS- and phthalate-free, and do not use polycarbonate.

You can see Platypus' information on plastics here.

Sawyer

Sawyer produce a range of water filter solutions, many of which are made with BPA free plastic.

For a list of BPA free products from Sawyer see here.

Wildo

All products for use with food and drink are BPA free.

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