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For all of us who have leftovers after any number of meals, this is a sensible question to ask: Is Tupperware BPA-free? First, though, it helps to understand what BPA is.
BPA stands for Bisphenol A, a chemical produced in large quantities, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, “for use primarily in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins.” Various governmental agencies, health organizations, and research groups differ on their opinions of whether BPA is safe for humans and, if so, at what level of BPA exposure.
A group of researchers from the Institute of Environmental Medicine in Stockholm, Sweden, for instance, recently reviewed all the research (46 studies) on whether BPA is toxic to the developing nervous systems of newborns. The results of their study were published in the medical journal Toxicology. They concluded that even though the studies have been conducted according to standardized protocols, the research “may overlook sensitive effects of BPA, and possibly other potential endocrine disruptors, especially in female offspring.”
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Is Tupperware BPA-Free?
Given the differing opinions and inconclusive research results on the potential adverse health effects of BPA, many people are choosing to avoid known sources of exposure, such as polycarbonate plastics. As mentioned previously, many plastics used for food and beverage storage are potential sources of BPA. Since Tupperware is such a popular brand of plastic food storage containers, it is not surprising how many people have questioned whether Tupperware contains BPA.
Tupperware officially states that since 2010, they have not sold items containing BPA. Here’s exactly what Tupperware states on its website (accessed on Nov. 24, 2016):
“Tupperware follows the recommendations and guidelines of governmental regulatory agencies regarding materials that may be used in our high quality products. The Company also acknowledges the attitudes of consumers regarding products containing BPA. In its continuous search for the best materials for use in its products, Tupperware has found other materials with improved performance characteristics that have been approved by regulators to be BPA free to replace polycarbonate. As of March 2010, items sold by Tupperware US & CA are BPA free.”
What is not said in this statement but is implied is that at least some of Tupperware products sold prior to 2010 did in fact contain BPA. For consumers who want to be absolutely certain they have removed all known BPA sources, Tupperware containers manufactured prior to 2010 would be suspect.
How to Reduce Exposure to BPA
While it’s virtually impossible to completely eliminate contact with BPA, you can reduce your family’s exposure to this chemical. The Environmental Working Group offers the following suggestions:
- Limit your consumption of canned food, particularly if you are pregnant.
- Look for canned food labeled as BPA-free or buy food packed in glass jars or waxed cardboard cartons. A few small companies sell cans lined with non-BPA alternatives.
- Don’t use old baby bottles, cups, dishes and food containers marked with the letters “PC,” for polycarbonate, or recycling label #7, for food. Not all #7 products are polycarbonate, but they may be.
- Do not microwave food in plastic containers.
- Say no to receipts when possible.
- Never give a child a receipt to hold or play with.
- Wash your hands before preparing and eating food after handling receipts.
Why Asking “Is Tupperware BPA free?” May Not Be Enough
Some research has shown that plastic labeled BPA-free may still be unsafe. For more information on why some BPA-free plastics may be just as dangerous as those with BPA, see BPA-Free Plastics Get Canned. And to learn more about the health risks of BPA and get ideas on how to reduce your BPA exposure, see the following articles:
- “5 Alarming Sources of BPA Exposure“
- “Study Links Depression in Children to Bisphenol A (BPA) from Canned Food“
- “Endocrine Disruptors: The Stealth Plague of Modern Society“
This blog originally appeared in 2014 and has been updated.