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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Are there plastic water bottles to avoid?

As summer approaches, we will be reaching for water bottles to quench our thirst.  Are there water bottles to avoid?  Yes, as some contain BPA which we really don’t need. 
Most of us have heard some manufacturers put a chemical in plastic bottles that we should avoid.  What is the chemical and why should we avoid it?  The chemical is bisphenol A or BPA for short.  Manufacturers use BPA to hard plastics, and they put  this chemical in:

  •  Baby bottles, sippy cups – most US manufacturers no longer put BPA in baby bottles an sippy cups
  • Plastic bottles like water bottles
  • Cans – lining of cans 
Why isn't BPA banned?  The Food and Drug Administration was asked to ban BPA but they cited insufficient evidence.  One has to wonder was it insufficient evidence or a strong food lobby that prevented the ban.  But our friends to the North, Canada has banned BPA use in baby bottles so they have recognized the “insufficient evidence” as being sufficient.  BPA came under fire in 2008 when a number of health risks were reported. 
Problems with BPA –

  • Cancer – BPA may be a risk factor for some cancers
  • Hormone levels - the chemical seems to disrupt hormone levels and development in young children.  
  • Brain and behavior – some studies found BPA affected the brain and behavior of infants and young children.
  • Heart problems – the more BPA the more risk of heart problems. 

So how many of us are affected?  Virtually everyone has studies have found 93% of Americans have some BPA in our bodies.
AVOID 3 or 7 Recylce code - to avoid BPA, avoid any plastics with a  3 or 7 recycling code, that simple.  Avoid the 3 and  7 to avoid BPA.
BPA Free – look for bottles, sippy cups advertised as BPA free.
Things to DO:

  • Use glass – glass, porcelain, stainless steel don’t have BPA
  • Fresh food – less canned food which still may have BPA in lining and more fresh fruits and vegetables

Sources:  The Facts About Bisphenol A, Duke Medicine Health News, Vol. 13G-R2
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