You've almost guaranteed to see that some of the plastic and metal containers you buy today are labeled “BPA-free,” or perhaps you've seen headlines that have the acronym in them. In addition, it is entirely plausible if you have also started to wonder a little about what BPA actually is, what BPA-free means - and why it is so important that, for example, food products are free from it? Read along here and learn a lot more about just that.
What is BPA?
BPA is an organic chemical compound that has been used to harden plastic - thus making it strong and resistant - for more than 50 years. The annual consumption of BPA is around 3.8 million tonnes worldwide - and a good five percent of this consumption is used for products that come into contact with food, including, for example, packaging and containers. It is also a chemical that can be found everywhere, both in medical equipment, CDs, water bottles, in the lining of canned food and drinks and many other products.
BPA and canned food
BPA acts as a form of building block when polycarbonate plastic (PC) and epoxy resins are to be produced - and when BPA is converted into plastic, there will be a very small excess residue left in the plastic.
PC is a light, transparent and unbreakable plastic that is used for, among other things, electrical equipment, kitchen equipment, suitcases, toys and much more.
Epoxy resins, when this type of plastic is cured, are inert materials that do not react with other substances. Therefore, these are used as a protective surface treatment, especially on the inside of metal cans, as it helps to maintain the quality and durability of both drinks, but also in preserves. This helps to both protect the food from the metal, but also the metal from the food - and that is only good. But why are there BPA-free cans?
Is BPA dangerous?
Since there will always be a small surplus of BPA when producing both PC and epoxy resins, this also means that BPA can be found in the foods that come into contact with the two types of plastic. BPA can seep into our food and drinks, whereby we humans will absorb it into our bodies - but what does this mean?
An endocrine disruptor
The fact that BPA can seep into food and drinks is particularly problematic. It turns out that the chemical, or substance, is hormone-disrupting. Most of the time, however, it can be difficult to say anything concrete about what effects such substances can have, but the effects of BPA have proven to be so problematic that the EU has assessed it as being hormone-disrupting in humans.
The fact that BPA is hormone-disrupting in humans means, among other things, that it can affect boys' sperm quality, so that it decreases, while it can have an effect on girls going through puberty earlier. It is therefore a substance that is harmful to fertility, which is why it has also been prohibited to use BPA in the production of PC for baby bottles, drinking cups and bottles for children under 3 years of age.
What does BPA-free mean - minimize your exposure to the substance
Although BPA is not yet banned in the production of many other products, it is still a good idea to avoid the hormone-disrupting substance when buying food and drinks in plastic and metal packaging. At the bottom of metal and plastic packaging, you can see which type of plastic the product in question is packed in. Look here for plastic type 7 (PC), which is, among other things, plastic with BPA and avoid these packaging and containers.
At the same time, it has also, and fortunately, become much easier to see through the BPA content today, as more and more food, including cans, are labeled BPA-free. When, for example, a can is labeled BPA-free, it means that it does not contain epoxy resins made with BPA, and in this way, you can ensure that you avoid the chemical completely. This also applies when you buy canned fish from Grøndals, all of which are free of BPA .
Frequently asked questions
What are BPA free cans?
BPA-free cans are cans that do not use epoxy resins made with PBA to protect food from the metal and vice versa.
Which products are BPA free?
Canned fish from Grøndals are all labeled BPA-free, so you can be absolutely sure that you will not be exposed to the hormone-disrupting substance.