Why Are BPA-Free Products Important for Your Oral Health?
about the author
Connie is our founding director of R+D, which not only means she created the formulations for our products, but that she has more degrees than a thermometer. One of her degrees is an MS in food biochemistry, and she was a research scientist in Pepsi’s Product Innovation Group before deciding to focus cavity prevention and optimized oral health. When she’s not climbing, hiking, ultra-marathoning, playing guitar, or making awesome brownies with chickpea flour, she’s whipping up the most naturally friendly oral care products around.
Photo: black brush with toothpaste on it
Here at hello, we’re ingredient-conscious folks – and if you’re reading this, we bet that you are too. What we put in our products – and subsequently put in our bodies – matters. And really, the environmental and health impact of packaging matters as well. That’s our topic for today. But before we give you the skinny on BPA, we want you to know upfront that all our products are made with BPA-free packaging. That means no BPAs in our toothpaste tubes or toothbrushes. Because when we say naturally friendly™, we’re not kidding around! To make sure that you’re informed when making purchases from other folks though, here are the facts on BPA and why it deserves to be on your radar.
What is BPA?
BPA, or “bisphenol A” is the major chemical component that goes into making polycarbonate, a clear, tough plastic that’s commonly used in a wide variety of products including food containers and hygiene supplies (like toothbrushes). It’s also a component in the epoxy resins commonly used to make the linings on the inside of metal food and beverage cans, as it helps protect them from corrosion.
The lowdown on BPA exposure
While BPA is a useful chemical, it unfortunately doesn’t remain entirely bound within polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins – research has shown that BPA can be released and leach into the foods and liquids that we consume. In fact, a CDC survey of over 2,500 people found detectable levels of BPA in the urine of 93% of participants six years or older. Experts believe that the amount of BPA released from polycarbonate containers is related to heat. So in order to limit exposure to BPA, it’s recommended that you don’t microwave hard plastic food containers or put them in the dishwasher. You may also want to limit your use of canned products and opt to store foods (particularly hot ones) in glass or porcelain containers.
Is BPA dangerous?
While the FDA is continuing to review research around BPA, they say it’s safe in the very low levels that can be found in some foods, based on its assessment of hundreds of studies. However, there is some concern around potential effects of BPA in relation to the physical development of unborn and young children. As a result, BPA is no longer used in baby bottles and infant formula in the USA, while several states have banned its use in cups or bottles made for young children. In general, parents should look for products marked “BPA-free.” Plastics made with BPA may not be clearly marked, but if they have a recyclable (chasing-arrows) mark, the number inside the mark should be “7”, a miscellaneous category that includes polycarbonate, so best to steer clear when possible.
So although BPA is generally considered safe, there’s certainly no harm in limiting your exposure. And whenever you put one of our toothbrushes or toothpastes in your mouth, you can feel secure in knowing that limiting your exposure is exactly what you’re doing. The same goes for limiting the exposure of any youngsters that you may have – but with delicious flavors like watermelon and strawberry, we don’t think you’ll have to bring the BPA-free business into the conversation to get them interested in partaking 🙂
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