Are BPA-Free Plastics Really Any Safer?
Over recent years, the growing concern regarding BPA exposure has led many manufacturers to stop using BPA in items such as plastic containers and bottles. With this change, many consumers have thrown away a lot of their old water bottles and replaced it with newer ones that are ‘BPA Free’ with the assumption that it is safer. But are the new ones really safer?
A study was done against 35 BPA-free cups aimed at toddlers. The results showed nine of the sippy cups contained a moderate to high dose of chemicals that mimicked estrogen (seven of which had higher levels than those made with BPA). Any chemical that tampers with the endocrine system (which controls hormones in the human body) is potentially dangerous.
Color changing cups that were BPA Free seemed to be ones that on average produced some of the worst results.
What does this mean?
Research has shown that in mammals, chemicals having estrogenic activity can produce many health-related problems, such as early puberty in females, reduced sperm counts, altered functions of reproductive organs, obesity, altered gender-specific behaviors, and increased rates of some breast, ovarian, testicular, and prostate cancers. Fetal, newborn, and juvenile mammals are especially sensitive to these very low doses of chemicals. Many of these effects observed in mammals are also believed to be produced in humans, because basic endocrine mechanisms have been highly conserved across all classes of vertebrates.
How is this happening?
According to the NRDC, more than 80,000 chemicals available in the United States have never been fully tested for their potential toxic effects on our health and environment.
Many manufacturers have simply replaced BPA with other related compounds like bisphenol-S (BPS) or bisphenol-F (BPF) which appear to have similar (and sometimes even worse) endocrine disrupting effects.
According to Scientific American, nearly everyone worldwide is exposed to BPS. Eighty-one percent of urine samples from eight different countries contained traces of it, according to a study published in 2012. In comparison, about 93 percent of Americans have BPA in their urine.
When it comes to water bottles and sippy cups and infant bottles, we recommend choosing ones made from glass or stainless steel. Lifefactory and Kleen Kanteen are two of our favorite brands which have everything from infant bottles to drinking canisters for adults.
When it comes to storing food, opt for glass containers instead of plastic. Glass has been around for hundreds of years and its non-porous surface doesn’t absorb food and germs like plastic can.