45 posts categorized "BPA & Phthalates"

March 30, 2011

Republicans Scrap 'Compostable' Utensils in House Cafeterias

Los Angeles Times 3.25.11

60390430 After gaining control of the House, Republicans are piling their plates with a controversial issue that's separating lawmakers significantly along party lines.

According to Republicans, the use of "compostable" cups and utensils was "neither cost-effective nor energy-efficient," as reported by the L.A. Times. Notorious plastic utensils and flimsy polystyrene cups are back, and Democrats have a mouthful to say about it. Modifying utensils in the cafeteria, which serves approximately 230,000 meals a month, was an essential part of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Green the Capitol initiative.  Some lawmakers are advocating the wisdom of reusables by bringing mugs from home and suggesting metal spoons and forks as a solution to the issue.
 
Take a look at our disposable lunch item facts for information regarding cutlery and lunch waste.

Read the full article here.

Image: Jim Young / Reuters

March 22, 2011

China, Malaysia and Czech Republic Become Latest Nations to Ban BPA

GreenBiz.com 3.15.11

Detskelahvegrafika China, Malaysia and the Czech Republic have joined the list of countries setting bans on the notorious endocrine-mimicking chemical Bisphenol-A, which has been linked in lab tests to a wide range of health issues. However, the rationale behind the ban is arguably diminished by an erroneous compromise: Baby bottles will go, but cups, plastic food containers, receipts and the linings of tin cans containing BPA will remain available to the public. Only items with a higher probablility of exposure in children and infants are being targeted.

China's Ministry of Health announced it plans to ban any BPA-containing baby bottles or other food and drink items for children, but has no start date as of now, reported Shanghai Daily. Malaysia's ban on baby bottles made with BPA begins next March; and in order to comply with a European directive, the Czech Republic must recall polycarbonate baby bottles containing BPA as of June 1, 2011.

The Centers for Disease Control says 93-percent of us have BPA in our bodies.

To read the full article, click here.

Image: czechposition.com 

December 07, 2010

BPA exposure may lead to pregnancy difficulties

Mouse-science-diabetes Discovery 12.2.10

A study published this month in Environmental Health Perspectives focuses on the affect endocrine-disrupting chemical(and popular water bottle/receipt additive) Bisphenol-A has on the reproductive abilities of mammals over the course of their lifetime. While the study focused on mice, researchers believe the results may lead to further concern for humans in contact with the ubiquitous substance.

The study involved allowing a selection of female mice to become pregnant. At that point, the pregnant mice were separated and given BPA-containing solutions. The concentration of BPA in these solutions ranged from miniscule amounts to a mouse-sized version of the human dose. A control group was given none.

These different groups of mice were then allowed to continue breeding throughout their lifespan to see how the amount of BPA would affect their ability to breed.

Within four months, litters of those given the BPA solution had shrank by 25%, and the frequency of pregnancies was also notably lower.

Read more about it at Discovery.

November 19, 2010

Another good reason to wash your hands...

Serving-hands Science News 12.4.10

French scientists recently published three alarming new studies on how Bisphenol-A enters the human body.

Their research supports the idea that BPA can pass through the skin with relative ease. One study focused on about 400 pregnant Cincinnati residents, and found that those with the highest levels of BPA worked as cashiers. Cashiers handle receipts, and many receipts that do not use ink to print contain BPA.

In order to confirm this, the researchers took several live skin samples from pig and human subjects, and then brushed the dry skin samples with varying amounts of BPA. Three days later, more than half of the endocrine-disrupting chemical had been absorbed.

Read more on the study at Science News.

November 18, 2010

ACC Helps Block BPA Legislation

 New York Times  11.17.10         

Just yesterday, the American Chemistry Council successfully mobilized Republicans to block a pending food safety bill attempting to limit the use of BPA in baby bottles and dinking cups.

The bill would allow a six-month grace period for baby item manufacturers to cease use of the endocrine-disrupting chemical.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, expressed consternation, positing that the ACC’s choice to block the bill placed potential monetary gain over the health of our nations infants.

Read the whole article at The New York Times.

September 21, 2010

A Safe New Way to Dispose of BPA

White-rot-fungus-1 Scientific American 5.10.2010

A new strategy for disposing of plastic containing the pollutant Bisphenol-A was recently published in the journal Biomacromolecules.

Researchers experimenting with fungus already used for bioremediation pre-treated plastic with ultraviolet light and heat. They buried the treated plastic and used untreated plastic as a control group, exposing both to a variety of microorganisms already used for bioremediation (cleaning up polluted sites by way of intentional exposure to certain life forms--fungus in this case).

One year later the control plastic remained untouched, while the treated plastic had been completely broken down by the microorganisms, leaving no trace of the endocrine disruptor.

Check out the abstract in Biomacromolecules or the Scientific American Podcast that brought it to our attention.

BPA Wiping Out Lobster Population

Lobster-die-offs Treehugger 8.11.10

Scientists at the University of Connecticut recently linked a major decline in the population of lobsters native to the New York coast with a rise in a few pollutants, including bisphenol A(BPA) from plastic waste.

The three-year, $3 million dollar study claims that a specific group of pollutants are working as endocrine disruptors. This lengthens the maturing lobsters' molting cycle, leaving them without chitinous armor for weeks at a time. This further results in deformities, increased susceptibility to disease, and in many cases, death. The coastal lobster population has declined 85% in the last twelve years.

Read the whole article here.

Our Take: Most of us have heard about BPA leaching from some plastic bottles. This article just offers further cause for worry. This data confirms the no-brainer advice we've been giving for years - avoid BPA as much as possible. And remember, it's not just plastics that pose a risk. Cans are another important source of BPA

Catastrophes like this come from decades of mindless waste and pollution. Buy high-quality reusables; they won't wind up floating in the ocean and they don't contain toxins like BPA to begin with.

Greener Polycarbonate Production

BPAfreeBottles Researchers from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore have developed a new method of polycarbonate production that could be used to manufacture BPA-free bottles in the near future.

The bottles would be non-toxic and leach-free, plus the production method would literally take greenhouse gasses out of the air and use them as ingredients to create the bottles. The new polycarbonate can contain 40% C02 by volume. Read the full article here.

Our Take: While this new technology is only in its infancy, the adoption of such green-friendly practices by companies such as Eastman-Tritan(link to Eastman Tritan FAQ) would mark notable progress to reducing our carbon footprint, and another reason to feel good about using a high-quality reusable bottle.

January 13, 2010

BPA exposure linked to heart disease

U.S. News & World Report - 1.13.10

 Usnews
"A previously reported link between exposure to the plastics chemical bisphenol A and heart disease stands, reports a new study published online January 12 in PLoS ONE.

Click here to find out more!
Added to previous work, the finding provides a third prong of evidence implicating the chemical in cardiovascular and metabolic problems, notes Richard Stahlhut of the Center for Reproductive Epidemiology at the University of Rochester in New York. “It’s becoming a coherent picture that really does fit together,” says Stahlhut, who was not involved in the research. “If these all connect, we really do have a problem...

Stahlhut cautions that there is still a lot about BPA that warrants investigation. Chlorinated BPA is detectable in the fat tissue of women and children, scientists from Spain reported in 2007 and 2008. “This plus this, plus this, means we better chase this,” Stahlhut says.”

Read the entire article here.

November 15, 2009

Study finds 457 chemicals released by common cleaning supplies

The Environmental Working Group - 11.09

Environmental working group chemicals
"Ordinary school cleaning supplies can expose children to multiple chemicals linked to asthma, cancer, and other documented health problems and to hundreds of other air contaminants that have never been tested for safety, a study by the Environmental Working Group shows. Laboratory tests done for EWG found that a typical assortment of cleaning products released 457 distinct chemicals into the air..."

Read the entire report here.

Our Take: This study reveals the ugly truth: that so many common products that we use every day are laden with potentially harmful chemicals. The good news - there are many simple DIY alternatives.

November 12, 2009

NYT opinion piece column draws attention to BPA in canned foods

The New York Times - 11.8.09

Nytlogo379x64
Op-ed columnist Nicholas D. Kristoff isn't taking Consumer Reports Magazine's latest study on BPA lightly. The report found BPA prevalent in an array of canned food products. BPA - "a synthetic estrogen that united states factories now use in everything from plastics to epoxies..." is found in more than 92 percent of American's urine, he said. The chemical has been linked to increased likelihood of cardiovascular disease and genital malformation, among other maladies.

He points to impending legislative action to limit the use of the chemical, and ends by noting that, "While the evidence isn't conclusive, it justifies precautions. In my family, we're cutting down on the use of those plastic containers that contain BPA to store or microwave food, and I'm drinking water out of a metal bottle now..."

Read the entire article.

November 03, 2009

Consumer Reports study finds BPA in "nearly all" canned foods

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online - 11.2.09

BPA
"A new test conducted for Consumer Reports magazine found bisphenol A leaching into food from nearly all cans, including those marked 'BPA-free' and 'organic.' The magazine's tests found that levels of the chemical in many of the cans were comparable to those found to cause cell damage and behavioral effects in animal studies... Last week, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences announced it will spend roughly $30 million over the next two years studying BPA. That includes $14 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or stimulus funds."

Read the entire Journal Sentinel article here.

Read coverage by the LA Times here.

September 24, 2009

Vom Saal claims BPA leaching in SIGGs

Z Recommends - 9.3.09

Researcher Frederick vom Saal stated that four years ago, he conducted an unpublished test on SIGG bottles and found leaching in the parts-per-trillion range.  In light of vom Saal’s statements in an article in The Star, Z Recommends was able to discuss test results they received from a different independent test conducted on a SIGG bottle with the old liner.

“The bottle was found to leach BPA at 1.25 micrograms per liter, which is roughly equivalent to 1.25 parts per billion. In relative terms, this is more than what vom Saal states he had found, although he has not yet provided many details of his tests. In absolute terms, both values are very, very small. Everyone - you included - is exposed to BPA at higher levels from other sources, many of them entirely outside of your control. Canned foods tested by the Environmental Working Group contained up to 385 ppb, and even if you avoid those, there are plenty of others. Labs testing water bottles for BPA have to correct for background BPA in the water - sometimes up to 2 ppb.”

Read the entire Z Recommends article.

Our Take:  We wanted to make sure to acknowledge this story that's been swirling around some media - the whole thing seems a bit weird and leaves us with more questions than answers. Why didn't vom Saal decide to publish his study four years ago, and why is he bringing it up now? Where are the details on the independent study cited by Z Recommends? (etc.)

The article does reaffirm the fact that leaching at anything below the 2ppb level is very minute. A Canada Health study helps put this in perspective, finding that the average bottled water contains 1.5 ppb of BPA.

We'll keep you posted if/when more information on these unpublished tests comes out. Meanwhile, you can learn more in our BPA and SIGG FAQs.

September 18, 2009

BPA Present in Some Aluminum Bottles

SNEWS - 8.10.09

Snews SNEWS was among the first to press with news that “Both SIGG and Laken have acknowledged to SNEWS that until August 2008, every aluminum bottle they produced and sold was lined with a water-based epoxy that contained BPA. To their credit, both have told SNEWS that since August 2008, all bottles manufactured by Laken and SIGG are being made with new liners that are certified to be BPA- and phthalate-free.”  Get fee access to the entire SNEWS store here.

 
Our Take
: As you can imagine, this has been the topic of conversation around the office since this article was released, and it’s something we take very seriously. Many of you have been asking for our take on this issue. We’ve been collecting information, sorting facts from rumors and presenting it an easily-digestible format. Please read our updated SIGG and BPA
FAQs for more information.

Bottom line?

1.     There’s no question SIGG messed up by waiting until now to come out with the contents of their old liner. That said, if you have a bottle with SIGG’s old liner, we believe it is safe for most people. Since unanswered questions remain about BPA in general, we recommend you read our SIGG FAQ see which liner your bottle has and determine what makes sense for you.

2.     SIGG’s new EcoCare liner is safe. It’s been independently tested and SIGG confirms it is free of BPA, phthalates, BPB and other harmful chemicals. Nothing harmful is used and nothing leaches from this liner.

As far as Laken is concerned, all bottles we offer (and have ever sold) by them use their certified BPA-free liner. To learn more about their old liner, see our Laken FAQ.

May 21, 2009

Chicago Bans Bottles with BPA Plastic

The New York Times 5.14.09   NYTimes

The City Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted a measure making Chicago the nation’s first city to ban the sale of baby bottles and sippy cups manufactured with a chemical that some studies have linked to disease.

Passage was driven by what officials here call federal regulators’ failure to take action on a grave public health issue.

The chemical, bisphenol-A, or BPA, is commonly employed to harden plastics, among other uses. Over time, it can leach into the contents of a plastic container, particularly one that is used in a microwave oven or cleaned in a dishwasher.

Link: Chicago Bans Bottles with BPA Plastic

Our Take: Huge news! Our very own Chicago takes the lead as America’s first city to ban BPA. We’ve been opposed to BPA in plastic, especially water bottles, for years. Let’s hope that Chicago will be a role model for cities across the nation and the world, limiting the use of this harmful chemical.

April 01, 2009

Wash. bill to ban BPA in baby bottles appears dead

Seattle Post Intelligencer 3.30.09  SeattlePostIntelligencer

Washington won't be the first state in the nation to ban a controversial chemical from baby bottles and other food and drink containers for children 3 and younger.

Our Take: We applaud Washington for its leadership in trying to ban BPA at the state level. Too bad the bill won't make it through the legislature. We hope the FDA will make it federal law to ban BPA when it gives the data a second look this year. (We aren't holding our breath. Until then, our advice remains the same - avoid the stuff.)

Link: Wash. bill to ban BPA in baby bottles appears dead

No BPA For Baby Bottles In U.S.

The Washington Post 3.06.09  WashingtonPost

The six largest manufacturers of baby bottles will stop selling bottles in the United States made with bisphenol A, a controversial chemical widely used in plastics but increasingly linked to a range of health effects.

The manufacturers declared their intentions after Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, joined by the attorneys general in Connecticut and New Jersey, wrote to the bottle makers and asked them to voluntarily stop using the chemical.

Our Take: It's about time bottle manufacturers respond to pressure to stop using BPA in their products. Congrats to the Connecticut, Delaware and New Jersey Attorney Generals for demanding regulation of this harmful chemical - if the FDA's not going to do it, someone has to.

Link: No BPA For Baby Bottles In U.S.

February 19, 2009

New Safety Law Doesn't Mean All's Well in Toyland

NPR 2.12.09  Npr

A new federal law took effect this week banning chemicals called phthalates in children's toys and other kids' products. While the ban was hailed as a victory for children's health, it's no guarantee that the products are safe.

That's because companies currently aren't required to publicly disclose the chemicals they use in place of phthalates — and little is known about the health effects of one of the most widely used alternatives.

Our Take:  We’re glad to hear that phthalates have finally been banned from children’s toys (it’s about time!). However, as the article cautions, it’s tough to know whether toys contain the harmful chemical in the first place – making it difficult to regulate. Not to mention, the 80,000 phthalate substitutes being used in its place, whose toxicity isn’t known. We suggest steering clear of any plastics that aren’t thoroughly tested and from a trusted source.

Listen here

Link: New Safety Law Doesn’t Mean All’s Well in Toyland


February 18, 2009

Plastic chemical may stay in body longer: study

Reuters UK 1.28.09Bpa  

A controversial chemical used in many plastic products may remain in the body longer than previously thought, and people may be ingesting it from sources other than food, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

While the belief had been BPA was quickly and completely eliminated from the body through urine, this study found people who had fasted for even a whole day still had significant levels of the chemical.

Link: Plastic chemical may stay in body longer: study

January 08, 2009

FDA to Reconsider Plastic Bottle Risk

Nytimesbottle The New York Times 12.24.08

Weeks after its own advisory board accused the Food and Drug Administration of failing to adequately consider research about the dangers of bisphenol-A, found in many plastic baby bottles, plastic food containers and metal can linings, the agency has agreed to reconsider the issue.

Our Take:  Finally, the FDA is admitting that BPA may pose a risk to human health. Based on the overwhelming evidence, we expect this “second look” at the data will confirm the no-brainer advice we’ve been giving for years – avoid BPA as much as possible. And remember, it’s not just plastics that pose a risk. Cans are another important source of BPA – more than 2 billion pounds of which is produced a year, according to this article.

Link: FDA to Reconsider Plastic Bottle Risk 

November 13, 2008

Toys Containing Banned Plastics Still on Market

The Wall Street Journal 10.23.08WSJ

Three types of phthalates, chemical additives that render hard plastics flexible, will be banned from children's toys and child-care products starting Feb. 10, while three other types of phthalates will be temporarily prohibited from child-care products and toys that can be placed in a child's mouth…

"This holiday season is going to be 'buyer beware,'" says Elizabeth Hitchcock of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

Consumers will see "toys marked down at a discount without knowing that they contain a substance that will be banned in February," says Ms. Hitchcock. That could "present a tremendous danger," she says, because the lower prices will be all the more appealing to shoppers during an economic downturn.

Link: Toys Containing Banned Plastics Still on Market

Panel Faults F.D.A. on Stance That Chemical in Plastic Is Safe

The New York Times 10.29.08NY Times

A scientific panel has issued a blistering report against the Food and Drug Administration, saying it ignored important evidence in reassuring consumers about the safety of the controversial chemical bisphenol-A.

The agency’s evaluation of BPA “creates a false sense of security” and “overlooks a wide range of potentially serious findings,” the report said.

Link: Panel Faults F.D.A. on Stance That Chemical in Plastic Is Safe

October 22, 2008

Stop Eating BPA

Cans_3 Care2 10.14.08

Is it just me–or is it really maddening that we are pelted with industrial toxins and told by governmental regulating agencies that they are safe?

Canned foods are thought to be the predominate route of BPA exposure. Numerous studies support this fact, including an investigation of BPA exposures for 257 young children in North Carolina and Ohio day care centers.

Our Take: Most of us have heard about BPA leaching from some plastic bottles. But the primary source of BPA may be canned items – everything from tomato sauce to baby formula. This alarming fact has gotten buried in the frenzy over BPA in plastic bottles. Here are some great tips to reduce BPA exposure from all sources.  

Link: Stop Eating BPA

BPA Legislation Heats Up

CBC News 10.18.08 Wsj_2 

The federal government has decided to add bisphenol A to the country’s list of toxic substances and draft regulations that ban the sale in Canada of plastic baby bottles containing the chemical…

The Wall Street Journal Health Blog 10.14.08

There’s a bit more heat this week on bisphenol A, this time courtesy of attorneys general in Connecticut, New Jersey and Delaware. The AGs sent letters to 11 companies asking them to voluntarily stop putting the chemicals into baby bottles and formula.

Our Take:

Two big moves to ban BPA – Canada is a model for when government acts responsively and proactively in the interest of public safety. Fortunately, we’re seeing some great leadership on the part of Conneticut, New Jersey and Delaware. We hope it’s only the beginning of Americans taking matters into their own hands – politically and personally – to put health before profit.


Link: Canada moves to ban bisphenol A in baby bottles

Link: States Ask Companies to Stop Putting BPA in Baby Bottles

September 11, 2008

Chemical in Plastic Is Connected to Health Problems in Monkeys

Wpost Washington Post  09.04.08

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have linked a chemical found in everyday plastics to problems with brain function and mood disorders in monkeys -- the first time the chemical has been connected to health problems in primates. "Our findings suggest that exposure to low-dose BPA may have widespread effects on brain structure and function," the authors wrote. In contrast to earlier research on rodents, the Yale researchers studied monkeys to better approximate the way BPA might affect humans.

Link: Chemical in Plastic Is Connected to Health Problems in Monkeys

September 10, 2008

Government questions plastic bottles' safety

Babybottle MSNBC.com  09.03.08

Government toxicologists have reiterated safety concerns about a chemical used in baby bottles and food containers, just weeks after the Food and Drug Administration declared the substance safe.

Link: Government questions plastic bottles' safety

Link: Video – Report questions plastic bottle safety

Concerns Linger over Safety of Chemical Used in Baby Bottles

Wsj_2 Wall Street Journal  09.03.08

Government experts on Wednesday released a final report on the safety of a chemical used in plastic baby bottles, saying they have "some concern" the chemical is linked to health and developmental problems. The FDA is holding a hearing on Sept. 16 to discuss BPA.

Link: Concerns linger over safety of che mical used in baby bottles

June 24, 2008

Baby bottles safe, FDA official says

Baltimore Sun, 06.11.08

In a response to the BPA controversy, the FDA announced recently that parents should not be concerned about safety in regards to the use of the chemical bisphenol-A in their children’s baby bottles. Claiming the concerns raised recently were based on uncorroborated evidence, conflicting results and research done on rats, the officials defended the use of BPA and phthalates.

Our Take: Yikes. In this shockingly irresponsible (and much delayed) response, the FDA continues to erode its “brand” and public trust. Sounds like ass-covering and siding with industry. The old US standard of having to prove a substance is unsafe before it is pulled from the market is alive and well. As much as the government may wish, we have a feeling this isn’t over. What do you think?

Link: Baby bottles safe, FDA official says 

April 25, 2008

Bottle Maker To Stop Using Plastic Linked To Health Concerns

New York Times 04.18.08Nytimesnalgene

Nalgene, the brand that popularized water bottles made from hard, clear and nearly unbreakable polycarbonate, will stop using the plastic because of growing concern over one of its ingredients.

Link: Bottle Maker To Stop Using Plastic Linked To Health Concerns

US Senator To Propose Ban On Bisphenol A

ICIS (International Chemical Information Service) 04.23.08

Icisbabybottle US Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat-New York) will propose legislation banning the sale of children’s products and food containers containing bisphenol A (BPA), possibly before the end of the week, the legislator’s office said on Wednesday. As justification for the ban, the senator cited the National Toxicology Program’s draft report, published on 14 April.

Link: US Senator To Propose Ban On Bisphenol A

Canada Says Chemical In Hard Plastic Bottles May Be Unsafe

Associated Press 04.19.08
Ap_only_logo_save0012
An ubiquitous chemical found in hard plastic water bottles, DVDs, CDs and hundreds of other common items came under increased pressure Friday when Canada said it's potentially harmful and may ban its use in baby bottles. Health Canada made the announcement shortly after a U.S. company said it would stop selling hard-plastic Nalgene water bottles made with bisphenol A because of growing consumer concern over whether the chemical poses a health risk.

Link: Canada Says Chemical In Hard Plastic Bottles May Be Unsafe

VIDEO CLIP: How Safe Are Plastic Bottles

The Today Show 04.09.08

Tv_nbc_today_logoDo chemicals in the plastic bottles you use every day make them unsafe? Matt Lauer talks with Dr. Leo Trasande of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Link: How Safe Are Plastic Bottles, Part 1

Link: How Safe Are Plastic Bottles, Part 2

Canada Plans To Ban Polycarbonate Baby Bottles

Reuters 04.18.08
Canadascientific
Canada intends to become the first country to ban the import and sale of some types of plastic baby bottles because they contain a chemical that the government says could harm infants and toddlers. Health Minister Tony Clement said on Friday he would bring in rules to outlaw plastic polycarbonate baby bottles, perhaps within the next year. These bottles are made with bisphenol A, which is also used in food and water containers.

Link: Canada Plans To Ban Polycarbonate Baby Bottles

We Should Have Banned Bisphenol A Twenty Years Ago

Wired News 04.22.08

20yearsagoOver the last twenty years, scientists have built a mountain of evidence that Bisphenol A, the key ingredient in polycarbonate plastic, should scare the daylights out of us. It should have been banned a long time ago, as a precautionary measure, but regulators were asleep at the switch -- allowing the chemical industry to run roughshod over them.

Link: We Should Have Banned Bisphenol A Twenty Years Ago

The Plastics Revolution

Washington Post 04.22.08
Washpostrevolution
Many scientists and environmental advocates believe man-made components in plastics -- particularly a group of compounds called phthalates and another hormonally active chemical known as bisphenol A, or BPA -- can leach harmful chemicals that get absorbed into our bodies. The financial stakes are huge: Plastics is the country's third-largest manufacturing industry, employing 1.1 million workers and producing nearly $379 billion worth of goods each year.

Link: The Plastics Revolution

Debate Rages Over Plastic Bottle Chemical’s Safety

Reuters 04.18.08

Canada is moving to get rid of products with a chemical common in plastic baby bottles, the United States is expressing concern over its safety and some retailers are planning to stop selling these items. But whether the chemical bisphenol A poses genuine health risks in people remains a matter of debate, with industry groups defending its safety and environmental activists saying studies involving animals show otherwise.

Link: Debate Rages Over Plastic Bottle Chemical's Safety

More US Retailers Give BPA The Boot

USA Today 04.21.08

Canada's proposed ban on a hormone-like chemical in baby bottles has spurred U.S. retailers and legislators to try to phase out use of the ingredient, called bisphenol A, or BPA. Canada's announcement Friday came just days after the National Toxicology Program, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found "some concern" that low levels of BPA cause changes in behavior and the brain, prostate gland, mammary gland and the age at which girls enter puberty.

Link: More US Retailers Give BPA The Boot

US Cites Fears On Chemical In Plastics

Washington Post 04.18.08

Washington_post_logo_3Last year, an expert panel using outside scientists minimized the health risks of BPA, but its findings were widely assailed after a congressional investigation found that a firm hired to perform scientific analysis was also working for the chemical industry.

Link: US Cites Fears On Chemical In Plastics

February 12, 2008

Plastic Baby Bottles May Pose Danger

Market Watch 02.07.08

A recent study has found that some popular plastic baby bottles are leaching a hormone-disrupting chemical that, when heated, possibly pose a danger to infants. The study, which focused on six major brands of baby bottles sold in the United States and Canada, found that bisphenol A, used to make polycarbonate plastic, was given off by heated bottles in amounts that were within the range shown to cause harm in animal studies.

Link: Plastic Baby Bottles May Pose Danger

January 31, 2008

Project Green: The Chemicals Within

Newsweek 02.04.08
Newsweekplastics_widehorizontal
Many common household products contain compounds that could be affecting our health.
The shocking thing is that we really don't know the health effects of many of these chemicals on the market today. Under the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, chemicals already in use were grandfathered in without scrutiny. These include the three classes of compounds targeted in a November report released by a coalition of environmental groups, "Is It in Us?"—a plastic strengthener called bisphenol A (BPA), brominated flame retardants known as PBDEs and plastic softeners called phthalates.

Bisphenol A is a basic constituent of the polycarbonate plastics found in many baby bottles, sippy cups and juice bottles. Although the chemical industry and FDA say they are safe, there is evidence to the contrary. Research studies show that low-dose exposures, particularly during gestation, may later lead to breast and prostate cancer, abnormalities in the reproductive tract and behavioral problems, among other things.

Phthalates have also raised concern: these compounds are used to soften the plastics in products such as rubber duckies, vinyl shower curtains, certain medical devices, and are also found in hundreds of personal care products (e.g. fragrances, body lotions, nail polishes and shampoos). Potential problems from exposure include abnormalities to the reproductive tract and a decline in sperm quality.

The flame retardants, PBDEs, are found in fabrics, upholstery, foam mattresses, circuit boards and the casings of computers and televisions and animal studies show they can have negative impacts on learning and memory, sperm counts and thyroid functioning.

Our Take: ReusableBags.com has been providing education, leadership and safe alternatives for the past five years. With more awareness of these issues, we hope to see some real change! A reminder that all the bottles we carry are BPA-free.

Source: Project Green: The Chemicals Within

January 16, 2008

Mountain Equipment Pulls Water Bottles off Shelves

Globe and Mail 12.07.07Nalgene_bottles

Mountain Equipment Co-op, Canada's largest specialty outdoor-goods retailer, says it has pulled most food and beverage containers made of polycarbonate plastic from its shelves, citing concern over possible health risks. The Vancouver-based firm been one of the largest sellers of such products as polycarbonate Nalgene water bottles. The plastic in question is made mostly from bisphenol A, which mimics estrogen and is derived from petrochemicals.

Our Take: We've been promoting and offering safe reusable bottles for years. Mounting evidence of health risks and reactions like this reinforces the importance of avoiding cheap bottles and/or ones made from controversial materials like polycarbonate. Replace your polycarbonate bottle with a safe option today!

Link: Mountain Equipment Pulls Water Bottles off Shelves

September 20, 2007

Tapped Out: The True Cost of Bottled Water

National Geographic: The Green Guide (July/August 2007 issue)

From childhood, we're told to drink at least eight glasses of water each day. Unfortunately more and more Americans drink those eight glasses out of plastic bottles—a convenience that stuffs landfills, clogs waterways and guzzles valuable fossil fuels.

Not only does bottled water contribute to excessive waste, but it costs us a thousand times more than water from our faucet at home, and it is, in fact, no safer or cleaner.

Water aside, the plastic used in both single-use and reusable bottles can pose more of a contamination threat than the water. A safe plastic if used only once, #1 polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) is the most common resin used in disposable bottles. However, as #1 bottles are reused, which they commonly are, they can leach chemicals such as DEHA, a known carcinogen, and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), a potential hormone disrupter.

While single-use water bottles should never be used more than once, some reusable water bottles simply shouldn't be used. The debate continues over the safety of bisphenol A (BPA), a hormone-disrupting chemical known to leach out of the #7 polycarbonate plastic used to make a variety of products.

Our Take: As the battle over bottled water rages on, the best reusable choices come in stainless steel, aluminum and non-leaching plastics. Our store offers several of the brands endorsed in this story.

Link: Tapped Out: The True Cost of Bottled Water

May 31, 2006

Drink Deeply, From The Safest Container

Mothering.com

Bottled water is here to stay, a booming industry that grosses more than $7 billion dollars a year in the US alone. Water is necesary, and maintaining hydration is essential to good health (note the increased demand the body calls for when pregnant, breastfeeding and exercising ). But the bottle you drink from may be dangerous to your health.

Polycarbonate water bottles (labeled #7) contain bisphenol A (BPA), which leaches from the plastic even at room temperature and has been linked to chromosome damage and hormone disruption. These are the types of plastic Nalgene water bottles found in sports stores. Commonly, the bottled water you purchase is in #1 PET or PETE bottles (polyethylene terephthalate) , which may leach DEHA, a known carcinogen, if used more than once. Additionally, when refilled, either type of plastic bottles are likely to contain potentially harmful bacteria that grow on saliva, food particles, and fecal material from unwashed hands. Many people have reported getting diarrhea from their reused water bottles. Washing bottles with hot water and detergent or a rinse with bleach will sanitize them, but also leaches harmful chemicals out of the plastic...

Link: Drink Deeply, From The Safest Container .

April 13, 2005

Study Cites Risk of Compound in Plastic Bottles

Los Angeles Times

Evidence is mounting that a chemical in plastic that is one of the world's most widely used industrial compounds may be risky in the small amounts that seep from bottles and food packaging, according to a report to be published this week in a scientific journal.

The authors of the report, who reviewed more than 100 studies, urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to re-evaluate the risks of bisphenol A and consider restricting its use...

Link: Study Cites Risk of Compound in Plastic Bottles.

December 12, 2003

Hazards of Hydration

Sierra Magazine - Sierra Club

Choose your plastic water bottles carefully -- Clear, lightweight, and sturdy polycarbonate plastic bottles are standard equipment for millions of hikers and babies. (They are usually labeled #7 on the bottom; Nalgene is the best-known producer.) Since polycarbonate bottles don’t impart a taste to fluids, many users assume they are safer than bottles made out of other kinds of plastic. But now an accidental discovery has cast doubt on their safety.

"We just stumbled into this," says Hunt, "but we have been stunned by what we have seen."

Most at risk, says Colborn, are people with developing endocrine systems: pregnant women and newborns, followed by young children, and women who might get pregnant.

Link: November/December 2003 - Sierra Magazine - Sierra Club.