Sunday, August 31, 2014

Plastic Bottles: Are They Harmful to Your Health?

February 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Body Care, Featured

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.

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Comments

18 Responses to “Plastic Bottles: Are They Harmful to Your Health?”
  1. Aaron B says:

    Great article – I thought this was behind us. Good to know. I just found my son’s sippy cup which had 7 category type…that is not going in the trash.

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  2. Jessie says:

    I often see co-workers reheating food in margarine or some other take out containers. These are not necessarily microwave safe and may warp or melt, releasing harmful chemicals in your food.

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  3. Katie says:

    Ugh. All this BPA stuff makes me want to go live in a cave in the wilderness!

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    • AnyaT says:

      Your comment made me laugh…I am sure we will come up things we should avoid in the wilderness too ;)

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  4. I had no idea about the canned goods too. I have a #7 water bottle and need to get a new one. Maybe next week!

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  5. Angela says:

    Great article. Really spells out what to worry about and what not to worry about. I just checked my water bottle – I’m good to go! But now I need to check my stuff at home. Just knowing to look for a 7 is so much better than all the scare tactics flying around in the news.

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  6. jessica says:

    I often get confused on which number is the good pastic and which is “bad”. I hear conflicting reports. I try to stear clear of canned goods when at all possible, but things like coconut milk, canned tomatoes, curry paste, etc are staples in a cooks pantry. My solution to the water bottle is leaving a glass of water on my kitchen counter!

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  7. CC says:

    I recently switched everyone in the family to stainless steel bottles.

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  8. Priscilla says:

    I knew BPA was bad but I didn’t know to look for the code 7 on the plastic bottles. Thank you!

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  9. she says:

    i was seeing a lot of bpa-free baby bottle posts and now i know what they meant. thank you.

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  10. Teresa says:

    Wow! I had no idea tin cans were lined with a material containing BPA. This worries me. I will now start buying more fresh and frozen products. I’ve already cut out water bottles, and now I’m going to try to cut down on cans. Thanks for this information. I had no idea!

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  11. Kellie says:

    For years, I tried to purchase items in glass containers rather than plastic. Now it turns out that was a good idea because of BPA. My biggest frustration is that I can’t find anywhere to recycle glass bottles and I feel guilty throwing them in the trash.

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  12. Kelly says:

    I’ve been working on this too – I’m pretty good about sippy cups, bottles, cups, plates, etc, but I’m SO frustrated with the omnipresence of BPA in cans!!! I mean, come on! My kiddos LOVE olives, and frankly, buying them in the jar is so much more expensive that olives have to be a treat, not a staple food. Same with pineapple, to a lesser degree; at least that’s available in a non-BPA plastic container, if not readily available in glass. And I STILL haven’t figured out if the chicken in a pouch (instead of in a can) has a BPA lining. I have to call the company again. sigh. I am glad more people know about it now, though. And I hope that the widespread knowledge makes a difference in the food packaging industry.

    Oh – one other thing – any idea if it’s true that BPA could be present in the plastic that blocks of cheese are shrink wrapped in? Or in butter wrappers? I’ve heard both of those things said, but without verification, unfortunately.

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  13. Sharlita says:

    This is a great article. It’s very informative. I had no idea that the big containers that go on water dispensers were effected by bpa as well. I was planning on purchasing one of those to avoid using so many plastic bottles of water. How ironic. Well I have PUR water filtration pitcher, I wonder if that has bpa in it now? I’ll have to go check the bottom.
    I receive food assistance from WIC and they used to mandate that when you get beans you have to get the dried beans in a bag. Now they have revamped their program and allow you to get canned beans. I thought this was such a great change because I could never cook dry beans right so the cans was a better option for me. I’ve only bought 2 cans so far but now that I know bpa is in cans too I’ll have to switch back to getting bagged dry beans. Thanks so much for this information. Now I have to dig deep down into my woman abilities and learn how to cook beans.

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  14. Rebecca C says:

    It is ridiculous how much needs to be changed, Everything seems to be questionable or have the 7 on it :(

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  15. Kimberly B. says:

    Great article. I didn’t know about looking for the number 7 on the bottom of the water bottle.
    I also didn’t know about BPA being in canned goods and soft drink containers.

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  16. Jim K says:

    I’ve got (4) five gallon reuseable plastic water jugs for the water dispenser that I’ve used for months, all with #7 indicated on the bottom in the triangle! This is shocking to hear about…why isn’t there a public awareness about this??? Remember when the dangers of overheated teflon were announced to the world? Popular televison shows stressed the importance of cooking light with low heat or switching to other non-stick alternatives!
    If this story were if fact correct and not exaggerated then the government along with the media should inform the public and have a ban on all related products!!!

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