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Fat plastics

Posted by moddoctor On January - 21 - 2008

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times wrote an excellent summary piece on the dangers of plastic water bottles. These can be as subtle as heavy metals leaching out of reused bottle water bottles to endocrine disrupting compounds found in otherwise seemingly benign polycarbonate bottles.

Officially, polycarbonate bottles are completely benign with their major contaminant being bisphenol-A. Of course, that’s the official word. Bisphenol-A is a know agonist for estrogen receptors which means that it can in adequate concentrations activate the receptors. The implications are significant. Activating or blocking receptors can interfere with the normal actions of estrogen in females or stimulate estrogen like responses in males and children. Not good, right? It’s worrisome enough that the city of San Francisco banned products for children and infants that contained bisphenol-A in 2006. It does look like they repealed this ban, though.

So what does this matter for adults? This is one of those ongoing scientific arguments. Literature suggests that in-utero exposure to bisphenol-A increasing the lifetime risk of obesity. The chemical industry has spent a lot of money trying to quash this and self described non-partisan think tanks have pumped out paper after paper. The scientific community continues to come up with small study after small study that points to bisphenol-A being less that fully benign. Canada has labeled the compound: inherently toxic. What’s the truth?

Well, for sure bisphenol-A can speed development of fat cells. Exposure to bisphenol-A can speed growth and puberty as well as increase body weight in mice. Whether these are at concentrations similar to what one gets from bottled water is really unknown. Whether the same can be noted in humans is also unknown.

The take home, very likely is to use non-plastics for your water bottle filled from a home reverse osmosis filter. Of course, realistically, most of us will shrug off the risk and use cheap water bottle bought from the warehouse store. It’s not like we haven’t been warned, but like so many things it’s calculating the risks versus convenience.

3 Responses to “Fat plastics”

  1. […] a rough summary of what the FDA said on Friday. Maybe you recall what we said about the stuff almost exactly 2 years ago. Back in 2008, the FDA declared it “safe.” Now they […]

  2. […] to have a role in cancer development and treatment. It may also cause heart disease. Furthermore, it may raise the risk of obesity — perhaps the root cause of why it is associated with cancer and heart disease both. The FDA […]

  3. […] A new report on how much BPA is in canned foods is now available from the National Workgroup for Safe Markets. As you may recall, Bisphenol A, or BPA for short, is a chemical used to make clear plastics and line metal pipes or cans. Research has shown that it can disrupt our hormones. As a result, it has been implicated in a variety of maladies from some cancers to heart disease to obesity. […]