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Non-Toxic Alternatives to BPA and BPA-Free Bottles

Health + Wellness

Many BPA-free plastics are just as bad for us as the BPA-laden (byphenol A) kind, and in some cases, are possibly worse, according to research by neurobiology professor George Bittner and his team at CertiChem. 

The endocrine disruptors in most plastics have far-ranging effects that not only alter our gene makeup and increase infertility risks, they can also harm children.

Perhaps even more disturbing: companies are not required to determine their level of toxicity before releasing them for sale and marketing them as “safe and non-toxic.”

So if consumers haven’t already recycled their plastic water bottles—sippy cups, straw cups and baby bottles—now might be a good time. 

But, the looming question is: what should be used instead?

Here are some non-toxic alternatives and tips to consider from Care2 editor Eve Fox

1. Try to avoid plastic at all costs. Just because a plastic is touted as BPA- and phtalate-free does not mean it’s actually non-toxic (though, clearly, anything that doesn’t address those two well-known toxins should also be a red-flag.)

2. If plastic can’t be avoided altogether, the safest type (meaning the most stable, slowest to degrade and leech chemicals into your water, food, etc.) is silicone.

3. Glass is the safest material since it does not leech at all.

4. Stainless steel is pretty good as it is a relatively inert metal, but there is some transfer of elements which can be an issue for people with allergies to nickel.

5. There is no perfect water bottle, baby bottle, sippy cup, straw cup or insulated mug out there, but there are a lot of good options!

Below are Fox's picks for some of the best cup and bottle products currently on the market:

I got rid of my Nalgene’s back in 2008 when the news broke about BPA’s badness and invested in a couple of Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottles. They come in several different sizes (12-, 18-, 27- and 40-ounce) and with a bunch of different tops (sport, cafe, etc.) They also introduced an insulated wide-mouth bottle recently. Photo credit: Care2

 

I ditched all our plastic baby bottles a few years ago in favor of Born Free’s sturdy, glass bottles with silicone nipples. I would only use glass for the babies since you often heat the bottle up before a feeding and we know heat and plastic is a bad combo. They come in two sizes (5- and 9-ounces) and they now offer a silicone sleeve to improve your and/or baby’s grip. Photo credit: Care2

 

I've got some stainless steel Klean Kanteen sippy cups in the mix, which we like a lot as we can take them practically anywhere. Photo credit: Care2

 

I also have a couple of the Pura Kiki stainless steel bottles with silicone sippy spouts that I got after reading tons of reviews a few months back. They’re a good width for smaller hands, the bottles are light and the mouth pieces are comfortable. They have nipple attachments for babies (though I would definitely prefer glass since you may be heating a baby’s bottle and it’s just safer than metal) and two levels of flow sippy attachments for toddlers and kids. Photo credit: Care2

 

I have one Lifefactory glass bottle with a flip cap that I like a lot. The sleeve gives you a good grip on the bottle and the flip top with the carrying handle is definitely an improvement over the plain bottle which has a very wide mouth and led me to spill water, typically on my clothes while drinking. Photo credit: Care2

 

Takeya also makes some very nice glass water bottles with silicone sleeves that help improve durability and minimize slippage and breakage. Their 12 ounce bottle is a more kid-friendly size than the adult-sized, 22-ounce Life Factory bottle, too. Photo credit: Care2

Visit EcoWatch’s HEALTH and pages for more related news on this topic.

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