Bisphenol A (BPA) is a ubiquitous compound in plastic and is a key building block of the material. It is routinely used to line cans, to prevent corrosion and contamination. More than 2.3 billion pounds of it are manufactured in the U.S. annually.
The dangers of BPA are controversial; studies have shown that exposure to it promotes breast cancer cell growth (and other ill effects), but its use prevails because it is cheap, lightweight, durable and offers other hard-to-match features, and its adverse effects in humans are not yet proven. It has been found in more than 90 percent of human urine samples; we face low-level but very regular exposure to it, and those considered to be at highest risk are babies.
BPA leaches out of plastic 55 times faster when exposed to heat, so if used, it should never be microwaved, used to store hot liquids or foods, or washed in hot water (by hand or in dishwashers). (Source: Scientific American, Photo: Flickr)

Wild Planet canned tuna is sustainably caught

Dental fillings with BPA make kids cranky, study finds

Baby bottles and sippy cups to officially be BPA-free

BPA causes interspecies mating, study finds

Banish plastic from your kitchen

BPA may block in vitro success

The breast cancer causer in your cabinet

Lead in your garden hose? Study finds high levels of toxic chemicals in gardening gear

5 surprising everyday things that are toxic

Glowing fish reveal secrets of pollution

FDA will not ban BPA in food packaging

The 3 main sources of chemicals in your home