Chemically speaking, the world is now a more dangerous place than it ever was before. It’s not just about the drugs such as heroin or meth that some people choose to put inside their bodies. It’s also about the pollutants we put into the air, water, and the food we eat. And it turns out that some studies also prove BPA water bottles dangerous for our health as well. bpa water bottles danger – Plenty BPA water bottles sold in the market today. But what’s the truth behind the purported dangers of this type of containers?
BPA Water Bottles Danger
BPA stands for bisphenol A, and it’s an industrial chemical that’s been in use since the 1960s for manufacturing certain plastics and resins. Until very recently, it’s a common component of polycarbonate plastics that are used for making various products, such as water bottles and other containers used to store food and beverages. It is also used in epoxy resins, and these resins are used to coat the inside of metal products. These products include bottle tops, food cans, and even water supply lines. BPA may even be found in dental sealant and composites. The problem with BPA is that the chemical can seep into the food or beverage from the containers that are made with BPA. And BPA has been implicated for causing several serious medical conditions. BPA is a known endocrine disruptor, and it can scramble hormone signals. Studies have long proved BPA water bottles dangerous, and that also included other canned food containers. For example, BPA has been linked to obesity and diabetes. One study conducted in the Miguel Hernandez University in Spain found that BPA causes the release of almost double the insulin that the body actually needs to break down food. Having high insulin levels can make the body less sensitive to insulin over time, and for some people that can cause weight gain and Type 2 diabetes.
There are other risks as well:
- It can be dangerous for the unborn and for young children. It can act like a hormone in the body which can disrupt normal hormone levels in fetuses, infants, and young children. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study and found that BPA exposure for unborn baby girls may cause behavioral problems when they become children.
- The National Toxicology Program at the FDA reviewed the available evidence and afterwards expressed concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain and behavior of infants and young children. The BPA may cause more serious effects on children because their bodies are still developing and they aren’t as efficient as adults at eliminating the BPA from their system.
- Other studies show that there may be a link between BPA exposure and an increased risk of cancer. Of particular concern are types of cancer that include breast, prostate, and uterine cancer.
- Two independent studies also show that adults who have the highest rates of BPA in their bodies also have a higher incidence of heart problems.
- BPA can also cause sexual dysfunction. A research article published in 2009 reported that men who were exposed to high levels of BPA at work were 4 times as like to experience erectile dysfunction and reduced sexual desire, compared to men who didn’t work with BPA. These workers who were exposed to BPA were also 7 times more likely to have ejaculation problems.
- It also affects women’s fertility. BPA has been linked to miscarriages, and women undergoing in vitro fertilization and who had higher BPA levels had more difficulty in becoming pregnant. They had lower estrogen levels, they had fewer fertilized eggs, and their eggs were of lower quality.
BPA contamination is rampant. The Centers for Disease Control and prevention took urine samples from a statistical group that was representative of the US population, and found that traces of BPA were present in 90% of the urine samples.
BPA Water Contamination
Scientists have also proved BPA water bottles dangerous not just in the food and beverage containers we use. The problem is that these plastic containers we use that have BPA are being dumped in the seas. Even the ships that cross these seas have their hulls coated with antirust chemicals that contain BPA. BPA is a man-made chemical, and it does not occur naturally in the environment. So if BPA traces have been found in the seas, then they must have come from man-made sources. It’s already been found that as early as 2010 BPA environmental contamination is widespread. Japanese scientists and researchers took water and sand samples from more than 200 sites all over the world, mostly on the coasts of Southeast Asia and North America.
What they found is that every batch of water or sand they tested was found to contain BPA. It was found in the shorelines of 20 countries. They found widespread decomposition of polycarbonate, which is a hard type of plastic made from BPA. The researchers were actually surprised at the time when they discovered that polycarbonate plastic biodegrades in the environment. Of course, the American Chemistry Council (the lobbying group that represents BPA manufacturers), immediately expressed their skepticism. But other scientists expressed alarm at the news. Dr. Frederick von Saal, a biologist at the University of Missouri and a highly regarded expert on hormones, expressed concern that people can go to the beach and absorb the BPA through the skin from the water and from the sand. The implications of the findings are still being studied to this day, because plastic continues to flow into the oceans. There’s a huge patch of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean that’s as large as the state of Texas, and that’s a lot of BPA seeping into the water.
BPA Free Water Bottles
The lobbying group American Chemistry Council was unable to stem the tide of alarm these news reports have caused, and as a result people were made aware of the dangers of BPA. Several states in the US imposed bans on the use of BPA for water bottles. Other countries have put up similar legislation, including the countries of the European Union, Canada, China, and the United Arab Emirates. Still, there are other actions you can do, especially if you are a parent. While totally eliminating BPA may be impossible due to its ubiquitous presence, there are steps you can take which may minimize your exposure, and your child’s exposure as well.
- Buy food products that are fresh or frozen, instead of buying them in cans. BPA may still be used in many containers of canned food, because it helps in preserving the food.
- Check for labels that state they are BPA-free. Nowadays, this is not more common. Many brands of tableware, sippy cups, and bottles have prominent labels stating that they are BPA-free.
- If you have to buy infant formula, again you need to check for a BPA-free label. If there is none and you really want a particular brand that comes in a can, perhaps you should choose the powdered formula over the liquid option. Liquid products are more likely to absorb BPA from the container lining than powdered products.
- Your best bet for food products is to use or buy containers that are not made of plastic at all. Containers that are made from stainless steel, glass, enamel, or porcelain do not have any BPA.
- Never use plastics with a recycling coding of 3 and 7 for food storage or preparation. Plastics with the code 7 are OK only if they also say “PLA” or have a leaf symbol on them. Codes 2, 4, and 5 are safe, but you should only use the code 1 plastics once.
- Keep all the plastic containers out of the sun.
- Aluminum containers may also contain BPA, so you should avoid them too. Some kinds of aluminum bottles are lined with an epoxy resin that leached even more BPA into the water they contained. They may actually be more dangerous than the products they were supposed to replace. The exceptions were the aluminum bottles lined with EcoCare copolyester (Sigg), plastic bottles made of Tritan copolyester (Nalgene), and uncoated stainless steel bottles (Sigg and Steel Works).
- If you’re concerned about the tap water in your home, you may also want to think about a water filter. Just make sure that the filter you use is rated to screen out BPA.
Is the problem solved? When BPA-free products began appearing in the market, many believed so. However, a new study found that the substitute for BPA (called BPS or bisphenol-S) may be just as dangerous as the BPA it replaced. The study found that BPS may also affect prenatal brain development.
Of course, true to form the lobbying group American Chemistry Council objected to the findings, but nowadays no one really takes them seriously anymore since they work for the manufacturers. Still, the findings are preliminary, but it only goes to show that the chemicals in modern society can be very difficult to eliminate in the face of corporate convenience. So for the meantime, the best way to minimize BPA (and BPS) contamination is to avoid buying prepackaged foods as much as possible. Scientists have already proven BPA water bottles dangerous your health, so a stainless steel cup for drinking is your best bet.
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