Chemicals in Plastic Bottles
Recent news that some baby bottles and water bottles contain a harmful chemical called bisphenol A (BPA) has sparked a lot of questions: How do we know what plastics are safe? And how can we ensure that the government is regulating our consumer products?
The Dangers of BPA
Some baby bottles, water bottles, and other clear plastic containers are made of polycarbonate plastic, a polymer made with the chemical bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is a hormone-disrupting chemical that in animal studies has been associated with reproductive abnormalities such as lower sperm counts, hormonal changes, enlarged prostate glands, abnormalities in the number of chromosomes in eggs, and pre-cancerous changes in the breast and prostate. It also has been associated with obesity and insulin resistance—acondition that commonly precedes the development of diabetes.
- Tests have shown that more than 93 percent of the general population has some BPA in their bodies.
- In animal studies, exposure on par with the amount of BPA most of us now have in our bodies has been shown to cause health abnormalities.
Although we don’t yet know whether BPA causes exactly the same health problems in humans, the serious health effects and the weight of the scientific evidence mean that we should be thoroughly testing and regulating this potentially dangerous chemical.