Plastic Bottles: Are They Harmful to Your Health?
You try your best to choose healthy foods and drinks – but what if the bottles and can they come in are toxic? Scientists are raising this question because of a chemical called bisphenolA (BPA), found in polycarbonate (hard, clear plastic) containers and the linings of soda and food cans. Some researchers believe that harmful levels of BPA may be tainting your food and drinks – and that may cause serious health problems.
Since the 1950s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared BPA safe for food containers. But the agency failed to review health evidence from animal studies that show serious health effects. A panel of government scientists recently called for BPA to be reevaluated, and the FDA has agreed. Until we know all the facts about this chemical, it’s wise for consumers to take steps to protect themselves. Here are some answers to common questions about BPA.
Is BPA in every plastic containers?
No. BPA is only in polycarbonate plastic, which is found in hard, clear baby bottles; toddler sippy cups;reusable water bottles; and large, multigallon plastic jugs used for water dispensers. Canned food and soft-drink containers are also often lined with a think film of material containing BPA. Meanwhile, studies show that BPA has been found in the urine of more than 90 percent of adults and children tested.
What harm can BPA cause?
Laboratory studies of animals suggest BPA may cause developmental probalems in the brain and hormonal systems of infants and children. In human studies, new research shows that adults with a high level of BPA are about three times more likely than those with a low level to have heart disease, diabetes or liver problems.
How can I protect my family from BPA?
If you have a baby or toddler, is BPA-free baby bottles and sippy cups. Or choose glass bottles or stainless steel cup. Some manufacturers are marketing BPA-free versions of refillable plastic bottles. To help identify polycarbonate bottles, turn the container upside down and look for numbers inside the “chasing arrows” symbol. Avoid bottles labeled 7, which is the category that included polycarbonate plastic.
How do I avoid BPA in canned goods?
This is more challenging. You can buy more fresh foods, frozen goods or items packaged in glass containers. When available, choose soups and other foods in cardboard cartons.
Reference: This is article was published in Spring 2009 edition of ‘Your Health” magazine, pp 10-11. This article is re-published on this website for the benefit our readers.