Polycarbonate plastics are widely used today. This material is durable, lightweight, and has a high resistance to heat and electricity. You can find this material as the main component of commonly used items such as CDs and DVDs, automobiles, appliances, and reusable water bottles. This plastic is also widely used to manufacture food containers.
Where the Danger Lies
Since BPA is the chemical used in the process of manufacturing many polycarbonate plastics, there is a danger of it leaching into the liquids and foods stored in food containers made from this type of plastic. Prolonged exposure to this type of chemical can often lead to cancer and other health problems that can neither be reversed nor cured. Some of these health issues include diabetes, obesity, Down Syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, and reproductive problems.
The Center for Disease Control, in a study they conducted in 2007, found out that among the participants they subjected to testing, 97% had BPA in their urine. A year after that, Canada banned BPA from baby bottles and advocated the use of BPA free baby bottles. At present, some large retailers have ceased selling BPA containers like polycarbonate bottles due to the growing concern over the dangers of ingesting BPA that leaches into the liquid contained in these bottles.
Since BPA is rampant in plastic products, searching for BPA free products is worth the time. You could also use steel water bottles as a substitute for your plastic bottles. Or you can use a Nalgene BPA free water bottle. You may look for other safe plastic bottles, but determining which are BPA free and which are not can be difficult. Since plastic manufacturers are not required by law to declare whether or not their products are BPA free, it’s best to go for products that openly declare that they are BPA free. Another safe plastic bottle option is the HDPE plastic bottle. These plastics are considered safer, compared to other types of plastic.
BPA plastic products will continue to be on the market until the government legislates ban its usage in the production of plastic. Although there's no guarantee, currently the best strategy for avoiding exposure to BPA is to be on the look out for products labeled BPA free.
(2010) Choosing a BPA-free Water Bottle. Retrieved August 3, 2010, from http://www.consumersearch.com/water-bottles/review
(2010) Bisphenol A Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved August 3, 2010, from http://www.bisphenol-a.org/about/faq.html
(2010) Choose a Health-Friendly Water Bottle. Retrieved August 3, 2010, from http://planetgreen.discovery.com/food-health/safer-water-bottle.html
(2010) BPA and NALGENE. Retrieved August 3, 2010, from http://www.nalgene-outdoor.com/technical/bpaInfo.htmll
(2010) What exactly is BPA? And what are the concerns?. Retrieved August 3, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bpa/AN01955