Are BPA Free Bottles Really Safe?

bpa-free-alternative-healthBPA-free labels on everything from sports bottles to plastic bowls seem reassuring, but is the label just giving us a false sense of security?

Since being exposed as an endocrine disruptor, BPA has been banned in some states. It causes a variety of serious health risks including breast and prostate cancer. However, some hard plastics that were supposed to be a safe alternative were recently found to contain a similar danger in the form of bisphenol S.

“We didn’t think it would have those effects, but it’s essentially the same as BPA,” said Rene Vinas, who was on the research team of the University of Texas BPS study published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Which Plastic Products are Safe?

Unfortunately, it seems there is no guarantee that any hard plastics are completely safe.
“While in many cases the contents of food and personal care products list ingredients, rarely do they list ingredients for containers they are in,” said Cheryl Watson, co-author of the BPS study.  “Even if you try to go by the recycling label on the container, it just lists the primary plastic, and not the other ones that may be mixed in. We know BPS is found in thermal paper – but who knows what else. ”

Scientists Calling for a Another “Plastic Revolution”

Many scientists state that there needs to be a complete overhaul of the way safety measured are taken in the U.S regarding plastic. Currently, there is the assumption that plastics are safe for people and the environment unless proven otherwise.

“We are in need of a second plastic revolution,” said Rolf Halden, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, “The first one brought us the age of plastics, changing human society and enabling the birth and explosive growth of many industries. But the materials used to make plastics weren’t chosen judiciously and we see the adverse consequences in widespread environmental pollution and unnecessary human exposure to harmful substances. Smart plastics of the future will be equally versatile but also non-toxic, biodegradable and made from renewable energy sources.”

For now, consumers can still protect themselves simply by purchasing containers that are not made of plastic. Glass and stainless steel are safe substitutes.

“Ideally, stay away from all of it until we find a chemical that doesn’t leach,” Vinas said. “But worrying about it is also probably not healthy.”

To read more about alternatives to BPA, head over to Discovery News

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