What Is Bisphenol A And Why You Should Avoid It.

January 9, 2008
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Bisphenol A, otherwise known as BPA, is a chemical compound primarily used to harden plastic. While the industry that makes BPA says that it is safe, there have been several reports lately about how it could be toxic to the human body because it mimics the sex hormone estradiol when exposed to high temperatures and/or certain dish detergents. In mice and rats there is evidence that low doses of bisphenol A can cause structural damage to the brain, hyperactivity, abnormal sexual behavior, increased fat formation, early puberty and disrupted reproductive cycles. And according to research at the University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Cincinnati, early exposure to a widely used industrial chemical in plastics manufacture may be linked to prostate cancer later in life. So it would be good to avoid it, right? Well, that might be hard to do considering that it is in so many plastic products, including those reusable plastic water bottles people are starting to use and even baby bottles…and you don’t want to fill a newborn with toxins – they just got started! Here is a list of studies that show how BPA could be affecting us:

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Of all the plastic types that BPA is found in, it tends to leech the most out of #7 – the one kind that older Nalgene reusable bottles and baby bottles are made out of. Since there are so many studies that point to some kind of toxicity, it would probably be a good idea to stay away from those #7 plastics, and luckily there are alternatives to the plastic baby and Nalgene bottles. For your own or your child’s water bottles, you might want to check out aluminum or stainless steel bottles (like the ones from Reusable Bags). And for your baby, they still make bottles out of glass (amazing, I know) and there are also bottles made out of stainless steel. My wife has a stainless steel water bottle she carries with her every day, and we try to avoid the use of plastics as much as possible here in the house when storing food. Even if only a tiny percentage of the studies are right, that is still a lot of potentially toxic chemical being put in our bodies, and it is best just to try to avoid it, especially when there are such easy-to-find alternatives.

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About the Author:

After a varied past of being a test driver for automotive television programs, a Hollywood studio lackey, and an online media sales director, David is now the publisher and editor of The Good Human. In his spare time he rides motorcycles, drinks good beer, and builds stuff in the garage. You can follow him on Twitter at @thegoodhuman or G+ at Google
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Comments (38)

  1. Marsha says:

    Try drinking your good, clean, safe tap water from a Swellz TapSack.
    Bisphenol-A free!
    Check them out at swellz.com

  2. Amanda says:

    Great post! A little note: Sigg water bottles do contain a plastic lining. They say it doesn’t leach BPA, and that may be true, but consumers should still know what’s in there.

  3. david says:

    Thanks Amanda, I did not see that anywhere. My wife’s is stainless steel and there is no lining at all in it – however, it is not made by Sigg!

  4. Cara says:

    Im doing a speech for my debate class, this was shocking and intersesting news. I also read a article about this chemical is in the plastic in your bottled water, which may also lead to breast cancer.

  5. David says:

    Yolanda – Please read my post about picking a safe water bottle right here.

  6. Yolanda says:

    Avoiding BPA,so what bottle should we choose in teh future.If you think BPA is of great harmful to human’s health, why don’t stop arguing and find a safe material for the bottles?Anyway,keep our babies away at first!

  7. Manda says:

    Thanks for the post David! I have many stainless steel items myself, and I just eliminated the last form of plastic in my kitchen equipment!! I replaced my plastic cutting board with one made from bamboo! However, I do have one suggestion regarding alternative waterbottles. MASON JARS!! I use them for everything: water, smoothies, storing veggies, fruit and other food. Glass may not be the best material for toddlers or elementary school-age kids, but I have been using mine as a water bottle for years! Is there a reason you don’t think glass is a good option other than the one that I’ve mentioned?

  8. david says:

    No reason other than they are breakable. But we use them for storing everything in our house, for sure.

  9. Maya says:

    Evenflo plastic bottles claim to be BPA free. Should I trust such a claim?

  10. sjboulter says:

    What about the plastic water pipes that everyone now has in their houses to deliver tap water? Why not start with the basics!!

  11. Quantum Leap says:

    Thanks for all the fantastic mind boggling research into plastic and shocking effects plastic has on the environment let alone on potential human health.

    I would like to know some information, facts on the production of these plastic products the process involved during production. Could the production of any kind of plastic also have equally devastating effects on human lives as well as the environment?

    I’m doing research on banning bottled water thus looking further into all aspects of environmental and health issues relating to all products that are made of plastic. Furthermore, I would like to find out if this PBA issue extends to all the processed grocery packaging thus, what we drink. I understand that heating food in plastic containers in microwaves or covering food with glad wrap also posses the same problem.

    Furthermore, in regards recycling recyclable plastic, I don’t believe that it is worth recycling plastic for other uses. All types of plastic products should be completely banned world wide because using and or recycle of plastic is harmful to the environment as well as the people involved in the process.

    Does anyone else have any thoughts?