BPA-Free Plastics May Still Not Be Safe For Use In Consumer Goods

BPA-Free Plastics May Still Not Be Safe For Use In Consumer Goods

Phrases like “Green” and “BPA free” are advertised on many of the latest water bottles in circulation today. According to recent developments in research, it appears that BPA-Free plastics may not be as safe as they advertise. After exposure to UV light, plastic water bottles may still release BPA molecular chemicals into your water.


According to the Mayo Clinic, BPA “is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins.” BPA chemicals are found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Prolonged exposure to BPA chemicals may have possible health effects on the brain, as well as the behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that BPA is safe and relatively harmless at low levels that are available in some foods.


However, new research in the Journal of Environmental Health has identified specific plastic products—including AVENT baby bottles, CamelBak water bottles, and Well Baby plastic sippy cups—that release estrogen into the body. The important bit of good news that follows this latest development however, is that the study also identifies a few plastics alternatives that are hormone-free.


Hormone Chart in Plastic Bottles (motherjones.com)

Hormone Chart in Plastic Bottles (motherjones.com)

Many of the products are advertised as healthy alternatives to plastics containing BPA, as well as the chemical phthalates, which is known to alter hormone levels.


According to Mother Jones,


“In most cases, they used a line of human breast cancer cells that multiplies in the presence of estrogen, as well as substances like BPA that mimic the female hormone. The researchers found that some products leached hormone-altering chemicals even before being exposed to conditions, such as heat from a dishwasher or microwave, that are known to unlock potentially toxic chemicals inside plastic. And most containers did so under some circumstances. After exposure to the type of ultraviolet rays that are found in sunlight (UVA) and used to sterilize baby bottles (UVC), more than three-quarters of the containers tested released synthetic estrogens.”


In the chart provided by Mother Jones, AVENT baby bottles, Born Free baby bottles, and the black Camelbak water bottle contain the most estrogenic activity after UV exposure. Right behind these three plastic bottles, the blue Camelbak water bottle and the Camelbak sippy cup still contain a relatively high level of estrogenic activity. However, the safest products were reportedly produced by Topas, Zeonor, and the blue Nalgene water bottles.


To check out a larger list of plastic containers and bottles that were tested, check out the chart here. Be aware that the chart is color coded based on the amount of hormones found in the experiment.


What do you think of this latest research? Do you use any of these plastic bottles? Will you stop using them now? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @kateeb790!

Kate Brown

Kate Brown has a BA in Communications and currently resides in San Francisco. She loves creating and engaging in art, and has been a part of art shows all around the west coast! Her favorite pastimes include trying out new cafes and pizzerias, watching HIMYM on repeat, having adventures (aka reading), and writing prologues for random story ideas. Follow her on Twitter @kateeb790!

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