Bisphenol-a (BPA) Crash Course

By Kristie Turck •  Published 04/12/22 •  4 min read

Last updated on May 9th, 2022 at 12:12 pm

Trying to get up to date on all this BPA talk popping up in the news? Just saw a report on the local or national news? Hearing mixed information from friends? Ahh, we feel your mounting frustration from here. Before you get that huge trash bag and barrel through your kitchen like a sleep-deprived maniac, read this. Safe Mama is all about efficiency. We know you parents are tired and need the quick and dirty version, so here you go:

What is BPA?

BPA or Bisphenol-a is a chemical used mostly in polycarbonate plastics (PC) and in the lining of metal cans.  It can be found in products like baby bottles, sippy cups, sports bottles, almost all canned food/formula cans (lining), all soda cans, foil seals, and jar food lids. Greeeat. (feel my thick sarcasm?)

How do I know if something plastic is made with Polycarbonate plastic (PC)?

Flip the item over and look for a recycling symbol on the bottom. It looks like a triangle of arrows with a number between 1 – 7 in the center. Polycarbonate plastic is usually marked with a 7. It might sometimes have a PC next to it indicating polycarbonate.  However, not ALL #7 plastics are PC…

Why should I avoid BPA?

Bisphenol-a is a known endocrine disruptor. Meaning it has estrogenic properties which, in recent animal tests has shown to potentially cause a bevy of health problems such as;

Research is showing that plastic containers, mostly those used to hold liquids and foods, are leeching Bisphenol into the foods and liquids they are holding.  Heating food and liquids with these plastics are shown to increase the leaching of this contaminate.  It has also been proven that BPA leeches into liquids from metal can linings (such as prepared baby formula)  Bottom line: It’s icky and if you don’t want to chance it on your precious kids, there are ways to avoid it.

We have a growing list of bottles, sippy cups, milk storage, and other items available:

List of States With Laws Protecting Consumers from BPA exposures

Currently, only 16 states have laws in place to help protect consumers from BPA. Some laws are newer and others are adapted policies. Read the specific laws for your state, many laws are vague and only cover a small range of products.  I urge you to use Safer States to learn more about what your state is doing.


What if my item has no recycling code on it?

Welcome to our hell! There is no way of knowing unless you a) Find it on the “BPA Free lists” or b) call the company the product is made by and ask them what kind of plastic it is. We wish it was easier than that, believe us.

Where else is BPA found besides baby bottles?

Sports bottles, glass jar lids, in the lining of canned food, soda cans, infant formula cans, and foil seals

We hope that helps get you started. Please, feel free to browse the site for more information using the category list, the search function, or the many resources in the left sidebar. If you’ve exhausted the resources we have here and still can’t find a suitable answer, ask us. We try to answer your questions as best we can. We’re just moms like you, trying to figure it all out. So hopefully we can get help each other out!