Argumentative Essay about Bisphenol A

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745 words
Vanderbilt University
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Argumentative essay
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Bisphenol A which is also abbreviated as BPA is a chemical widely used in the manufacture of lightweight and hard plastics. The products made of BPA are used in packaging of foods and drinks. Epoxy resins are applied as a coating on the inner wall of metal products such as the metal cans used for canning meat or other products; bottle tops paints and pipes used for supplying water (Vogel, 2013). In the industrial sector, BPA is used in processes such as recycling of thermal paper and manufacture of polyvinyl chloride plastics.

BPA has multiple industrial uses since the 1960s. From the 1960s to date, most plastic and metallic containers have been manufactured using BPA linings. Parts of automobiles, eyeglass lenses, and impact-resistant safety equipment and reusable cups among many other products have relied on the BPA (Vogel, 2013). From the perspective of human health, BPA provides an important way of minimizing the contact between canned foods and the cans. Without the BPA lining, the content of the can quickly corrode the wall of the can resulting in food contaminated with metal particles. Furthermore, corroded cans may also leak thus opening ways through which microbes invade the content leading to health risks (Snedeker, 2014). No producer of canned food would want to be perceived as selling unprotected foods hence the need for proper packaging.

The fact that the chemical is ubiquitously present in most products means that its exposure pathways are equally diverse. Nonetheless, the most common pathways through which BPA enters into the human body is through eating food contained in packing materials that have BPA lining (Vogel, 2013). The exposure from this pathway is more prevalent where one eats foods that are packed in the containers while still hot or boiling.

Despite the various industrial uses of Bisphenol A, it has direct effects on human health. The chemical is an endocrine disrupter hence alters the normal secretion or activity of the hormones in the endocrine system in human beings. In the United States, primary regulators of food quality including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) have expressed concern about the health implications of consuming foods packaged in BPA lined containers. As a matter of proactivity, the precautionary principle must always be applied in cases where a sustenance or processes are believed to portend harmful effects on human health (Berthoud, 2015). Due to impairment of the hormonal system, BPA has the potential of interrupting critical processes in the human body such as reproduction, production of milk from the mammary glands and digestion which all depend on the proper functioning of the endocrine system (Snedeker, 2014). If the chemical affects the endocrine system, then it is hard to dismiss the fact that at certain dosages, it can bring metabolic processes to a standstill,

The fact that containers lined with BPA have been used for a long time even in feeding the babies implies that people who rely on such foods have some amount of the chemical. Research on the chemical show that it has a direct correlation with adverse effects on the brain development and functioning, and impaired prostate gland functioning. Controversy still abounds on the extent to which the chemical adversely affects the endocrine system, but the fact that already concerns have been raised is adequate for at least the suspension of its use until when the extent of its effects and possible mitigations are ascertained.

Looking at the above facts, it is evident that the use of BPA is diverse especially in the manufacturing of packaging cans. Lining containers with the chemical guarantees protection of consumers from pathogens and contamination of content by metallic particles. On the other hand, the BPA is an endocrine disrupter which may result in long-term health complications as it undermines the metabolic operations in the body. It is peaceable that alternative materials can be used to replace BPA, but a severely damaged endocrine system is irreparable. Therefore, abolishing the use of BPA is the most appropriate as a proactive measure for a health concern whose extent of effects are not yet completely explored.



Berthoud, B. (2015). The precautionary principle in EU risk regulation: A matter of priorities. Hamburg: Anchor Academic Publishing.

Snedeker, S. M. (2014). Toxicants in food packaging and household plastics exposure and health: Exposure and health risks to consumers. London: Humana Press.

Vogel, S. A. (2013). Is it safe? BPA and the struggle to define the safety of chemicals. Berkeley: University of California Press.


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