Bisphenol A (BPA), used to make some plastics and epoxy resins, has made headlines for years because of its association with an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease in humans. Now high levels of BPA exposure have been linked to an increased risk for premature death from any cause, according to a study published online Aug. 17, 2020, by JAMA Network Open. Scientists analyzed the survival rates of about 3,900 people who provided health information and urine samples and were then followed for 10 years. People with the highest levels of BPA in their urine had a 51% higher risk of dying during that period, primarily from heart disease, compared with people who had the lowest levels of BPA. The findings don't prove that BPA caused premature death, but they add to concerns about BPA's potential toxicity. BPA and related chemicals are found in many products, such as water bottles, cups, dental sealants, paper receipts, and the linings of food and beverage cans and pipes, so it's hard to avoid them. Simple precautions include relying less on canned foods and more on fresh foods; avoiding plastics with a 3 or 7 recycling label; microwaving food in glass or ceramic containers, not plastic; and looking for BPA-free products.
Image: © monticelllo/Getty Images
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.