Are Plastic Bottles Harming Us?

Just today we came across an article once again talking about the issues with plastic drinking bottles. In our previous post we talked about the concerns about using plastic bottles and making a switch to stainless steel. http://puppiesandworms.com/2008/08/21/eco-friendly-stainless-steel-water-bottles/

This new article by Eating Well gives 4 major facts about plastic bottles and lets you make the decision on whether or not to discontinue the use of plastic bottles. I like how they give you that data so that you can decide on your own. To sum it up, the article talks about our exposure to chemical BPA through the use of plastic and lists out some of the potential harmful side effects. While the results of BPA study is still inconclusive, we must still all be vigilant in reducing our waste in the environment, and protecting ourselves and our loved ones.

Here are the 4 facts by Eating Well Magazine:

1. Polycarbonate plastics, often used to make reusable water bottles, clear plastic food-storage containers and some baby bottles, contain BPA, an estrogenlike chemical also used in the linings of some food and drink cans. Studies link BPA to the development of precancerous lesions and abnormal development of reproductive systems in animals. While BPA can leach into food and drinks, whether it actually affects human health is currently not known. However, consumer concern peaked in April after the National Toxicology Program (part of the National Institutes of Health) issued a draft report noting that, given the current science, the possibility couldn’t be ruled out.

2. What is known is that we’re all exposed to plenty of the chemical.In a 2005 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, 95 percent of people screened tested positive for BPA.

3. Hot liquids and foods exacerbate leaching in BPA-containing plastics,suggests a study published earlier this year in Toxicology Letters. When researchers poured boiling water into polycarbonate drinking bottles, it caused up to 55 times more BPA to seep out than room-temperature water had.

4. Whether washing containers in hot water causes them to break down and release BPA the next time they’re used isn’t clear:Only a handful of studies have been conducted, and results are conflicting. While heating these plastics in the microwave hasn’t been studied, it’s not recommended. Anila Jacob, M.D., a scientist with the Environmental Working Group, says that we can assume there is increased leaching with any kind of heating.

The Bottom Line:Manufacturers currently aren’t required to label BPA, so there’s no way of knowing if it’s present in the plastics or cans you use. For now, the best way to reduce your exposure is to use stainless steel, glass or plastics labeled “BPA-free.” If you’re not sure about a product contact the manufacturer for more information.

Do you have concerns or comments about this post or about the use of plastic? Please post your comments.

Stainless steel water bottles can be found here: http://stores.ebay.com/puppiesandworms?refid=puppiesandworms

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