BPA in plastics pose a significant health risk. But are those risks sometimes exaggerated?

If you browse the web you will find companies, associations and individuals all taking opposing viewpoints when it comes to the safety or otherwise of BPA in plastics.

The chemical industry will tell you that BPA is safe. As will their lobbyists.

On the other side, medical professionals, researchers and advocacy groups will tell you there is significant evidence to support the assertion that BPA has an adverse effect on human health, in many different ways.

Then there is a third group of people, many of them writing as individual bloggers. At times they will exaggerate. They will make claims about the adverse effects of BPA which go beyond the findings of current research.

Or maybe they will simply take a few words out of context.

For example, someone might say, “BPA causes cancer!”

Does BPA cause cancer in humans? It probably does. Or at least, it is almost certainly a contributing factor in some cancers. But it is not yet an absolute medical fact.

So yes, enthusiastic individuals and some groups do exaggerate the dangers of BPA.

Is this a problem? I don’t think so.

I think it provides a necessary balance.

On the one hand, we have the chemical industry lying through its teeth, telling us the BPA is totally safe.

As a point of balance, I think it’s OK that some people overreach a little with their claims, beyond the definitive findings of medical research.

A little exaggeration stimulates debate. It makes people think. It gets the issue out into the public domain. It fuels passion.

A little exaggeration is also a good way to get the media involved. The media like sound bites. They like anything that can be said in five words or less.

So while we may all want to sit back and stick carefully to the absolute letter of the state of current medical knowledge, that’s not the best way to effect change.

If we want change, we need to fuel passions.

And fueling passions may sometimes involve a little exaggeration.

But I would rather be in the shoes of a blogger who exaggerates than the shoes of an industry lobbyist who simply lies.

Further reading:

Bad plastics...

Safe plastics...

Alternatives to plastics...



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