Does “BPA FREE” really make water bottles safe?

 

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Consuming water is part of everyday life, especially for college students. When walking through a college campus you can see most people carrying a water bottle, each one different by either color, shape, size and even decorations i.e. sticker. One thing that tends to go unnoticed is the material that the bottle is made of. Most water bottles are made of plastic which allows for a strong yet not too heavy material. Manufacturers were using BPA (bisphenol A) as a strengthening agent, but after 40 years in the market, research was done and it was discovered that BPA was harmful to reproduction, development and had carcinogenic effects (Rafizadeh, 2016). This new found harmful compound caused a rapid change in the removal of BPA from consumer products. With the removal of BPA, BPS (bisphenol S) would replace it since it was believed that it would be less harmful because it’s more heat stable.

In a recent study done by Nancy Wayne, it was shown that “making plastic products with BPA alternatives does not necessarily leave them safer” (Schmidt, 2016). The study involved exposing zebrafish to either BPA or BPS at low levels and observing the embryos. It was observed that there was an impact on the development as well as the egg hatching time. This means that both BPA and BPS have an effect on the endocrine system.

With these shocking results, it was recommended by Wayne to replace all plastic products with glass. Although it is expensive to do this, the change from plastic to glass can be done slowly. It’s also important to realize that although an item may say BPA free, it most likely contains BPS. For this reason, consumers are urged to demand the manufacturers to produce more stable plastic products that release less endocrine disruptors.

You may be wondering, what can I do if I’m someone who uses a plastic water bottle? It’s recommended not to leave plastic water bottles in the heat i.e. your car and if it happens by accident, then don’t drink the water from the bottle. It was shown in a study done by the University of Florida that when bottles were left somewhere warm for a long time, the material from the bottles caused a release of the chemicals like BPA (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences). Another simple thing is replacing your plastic bottle with a glass or stainless steel bottle. Another option can be aluminum water bottles, but since they are lined with enamel or epoxy, BPA being the main ingredient in epoxy, it wears away over time (Bottling Your Own Water). Making small, but smart changes are

the best way to go!

 

References

“Bottling Your Own Water.” Glass Bottles vs Plastic Bottles vs Stainless Steel. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. http://www.aquasana.com/education/bottle-battle

 

Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and IFAS Communications. “Don’t Drink the (warm) Water Left in a Plastic Bottle, UF/IFAS Study Says.” IFAS News. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/2014/09/dont-drink-the-warm-water-ufifas-study-says/

Rafizadeh, Diane. “BPA-Free Isn’t Always Better: The Dangers of BPS, a BPA Substitute.”Yale Scientific Magazine. Yale Scientific Magazine – http://www.yalescientific.org, 17 Aug. 2016. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. http://www.yalescientific.org/2016/08/bpa-free-isnt-always-better-the-dangers-of-bps-a-bpa-substitute/

 

Schmidt, Elaine. “Chemical Used to Replace BPA in Plastic Accelerates Embryonic Development, Disrupts Reproductive System.” UCLA Newsroom. N.p., 01 Feb. 2016. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/chemical-used-to-replace-bpa-in-plastic-accelerates-embryonic-development-disrupts-reproductive-system

 

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