Quantcast

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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Protesters holding signs in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en Nation outside the Canadian Consulate in NYC. The Indigenous Peoples Day NYC Committee (IPDNYC), a coalition of 13 Indigenous Peoples and indigenous-led organizations gathered outside the Canadian Consulate and Permanent Mission to the UN to support the Wet'suwet'en Nation in their opposition to a Coastal GasLink pipeline scheduled to enter their traditional territory in British Columbia, Canada. Erik McGregor / LightRocket / Getty Images

Tensions are continuing to rise in Canada over a controversial pipeline project as protesters enter their 12th day blockading railways, demonstrating on streets and highways, and paralyzing the nation's rail system

Read More
padnpen / iStock / Getty Images

Yet another reason to avoid the typical western diet: eating high-fat, highly processed junk food filled with added sugars can impair brain function and lead to overeating in just one week.

Read More
Sponsored
Horseshoe Bend (seen above) is a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River in Page, Arizona. didier.camus / Flickr / public domain

Millions of people rely on the Colorado River, but the climate crisis is causing the river to dry up, putting many at risk of "severe water shortages," according to new research, as The Guardian reported.

Read More
An alarming sign of an impending drought is the decreased snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, as seen here in Christmas Valley, South Lake Tahoe, California on Feb. 15, 2020. jcookfisher / CC BY 2.0

California is headed toward drought conditions as February, typically the state's wettest month, passes without a drop of rain. The lack of rainfall could lead to early fire conditions. With no rain predicted for the next week, it looks as if this month will be only the second time in 170 years that San Francisco has not had a drop of rain in February, according to The Weather Channel.

The last time San Francisco did not record a drop of rain in February was in 1864 as the Civil War raged.

"This hasn't happened in 150 years or more," said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability to The Guardian. "There have even been a couple [of] wildfires – which is definitely not something you typically hear about in the middle of winter."

While the Pacific Northwest has flooded from heavy rains, the southern part of the West Coast has seen one storm after another pass by. Last week, the U.S. Drought Monitor said more Californians are in drought conditions than at any time during 2019, as The Weather Channel reported.

On Thursday, the U.S. Drought Monitor said nearly 60 percent of the state was abnormally dry, up from 46 percent just last week, according to The Mercury News in San Jose.

The dry winter has included areas that have seen devastating fires recently, including Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties. If the dry conditions continue, those areas will once again have dangerously high fire conditions, according to The Mercury News.

"Given what we've seen so far this year and the forecast for the next few weeks, I do think it's pretty likely we'll end up in some degree of drought by this summer," said Swain, as The Mercury News reported.

Another alarming sign of an impending drought is the decreased snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. The National Weather Service posted to Twitter a side-by-side comparison of snowpack from February 2019 and from this year, illustrating the puny snowpack this year. The snow accumulated in the Sierra Nevadas provides water to roughly 30 percent of the state, according to NBC Los Angeles.

Right now, the snowpack is at 53 percent of its normal volume after two warm and dry months to start the year. It is a remarkable decline, considering that the snowpack started 2020 at 90 percent of its historical average, as The Guardian reported.

"Those numbers are going to continue to go down," said Swain. "I would guess that the 1 March number is going to be less than 50 percent."

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center forecast that the drier-than-average conditions may last through April.

NOAA said Northern California will continue deeper into drought through the end of April, citing that the "persistent high pressure over the North Pacific Ocean is expected to continue, diverting storm systems to the north and south and away from California and parts of the Southwest," as The Weather Channel reported.

As the climate crisis escalates and the world continues to heat up, California should expect to see water drawn out of its ecosystem, making the state warmer and drier. Increased heat will lead to further loss of snow, both as less falls and as more of it melts quickly, according to The Guardian.

"We aren't going to necessarily see less rain, it's just that that rain goes less far. That's a future where the flood risk extends, with bigger wetter storms in a warming world," said Swain, as The Guardian reported.

The Guardian noted that while California's reservoirs are currently near capacity, the more immediate impact of the warm, dry winter will be how it raises the fire danger as trees and grasslands dry out.

"The plants and the forests don't benefit from the water storage reservoirs," said Swain, as The Mercury News reported. "If conditions remain very dry heading into summer, the landscape and vegetation is definitely going to feel it this year. From a wildfire perspective, the dry years do tend to be the bad fire years, especially in Northern California."

New and recent books explore how we can effectively respond to climate change while enhancing our health and happiness. Kei Uesugi / DigitalVision / Getty Images

A warm day in winter used to be a rare and uplifting relief.

Now such days are routine reminders of climate change – all the more foreboding when they coincide with news stories about unprecedented wildfires, record-breaking "rain bombs," or the accelerated melting of polar ice sheets.

Where, then, can one turn for hope in these dark months of the year?

Read More