BPA exposure has been detected in more than 95% of the U.S. population.
Getting food and drinks in a can may be convenient, but it may also be harmful. A new study, published in the journal Hypertension, looked at whether exposure to the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from drinking canned beverages affected blood pressure and heart rate. Researchers compared the effects of drinking two canned beverages to drinking two beverages from glass bottles, finding a significant difference in the presence of BPA in urine and in systolic blood pressure.
According to Medical News Today, there was approximately a 5 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure. Though that number may not be meaningful to a layperson, it is significant for patients with hypertension or heart disease. An increase in that amount can cause significant clinical problems for these patients, and may put others at risk for new chronic conditions.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) reports that BPA is a chemical produced in large quantities for use primarily in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are found in numerous everyday products such as water bottles, infant bottles, medical devices, and compact discs. BPA gets into the body largely through food consumption and, to some degree, through water depending on the temperature of the water or the bottle made with BPA. There is also minimal BPA exposure through air or dust.
BPA has been associated with hypertension and decreased heart rate variability in the previous studies. According to the National Monitor, BPA exposure may also increase the risk for miscarriages. It is nearly impossible to avoid BPA exposure. It is estimated that BPA exposure has been detected in more than 95% of the U.S. population.