What procurement professionals need to know about purchasing products that contain Bisphenol A or BPA

November 11th, 2008

A key design goal of the SafeSourcing website was to provide an educational format for procurement professionals. A source of reliable information and links to quality source data. To that end today’s blog post is intended to discuss the risks associated with the human consumption of BPA.

A key design goal of the SafeSourcing website was to provide an educational format for procurement professionals. A source of reliable information and links to quality source data. To that end today’s blog post is intended to discuss the risks associated with the human consumption of BPA.

“Bisphenol A” is a toxic plastics chemical that has inherent risks associated with the human consumption of the product. The following is taken from an excellent organization the Environmental Working Group or EWG’s website.

The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to use the power of public information
To protect public health and the environment. EWG is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, founded in 1993 by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles.

Our testing of canned foods found that BPA leaches from the liner into the food itself. Sensitive groups such as kids and pregnant women should limit canned food consumption. Beverages appear to contain less BPA residues, while canned pasta and soups contain the highest levels. Rinsing canned fruit or vegetables with water prior to heating and serving could lessen BPA ingestion.

BPA is found in polycarbonate plastic food containers often marked on the bottom with the letters “PC” recycling label #7. Not all #7 labeled products are polycarbonate but this is a reasonable guideline for a category of plastics to avoid. Polycarbonate plastics are rigid and transparent and used for sippy cups, baby bottles, food storage, and water bottles. Some polycarbonate water bottles are marketed as ‘non-leaching’ for minimizing plastic taste or odor, however there is still a possibility that trace amounts of BPA will migrate from these containers, particularly if used to heat liquids.

Risk levels associated with the consumption of BPA can be viewed at the EWG website.

This author recommends that when buying any of the products listed above that procurement professionals ask their suppliers the specific question; do the containers for these products contain BPA? If so, do you have the same product for the same price in container that does not contain BPA?

We look forward to your comments.

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