Research Warns BPA-Free Plastic Bottles Still Toxic to Infants and Toddlers
Michael Green, an environmental health executive and father of a feisty toddler named Juliette, worked to rid his cabinets of baby bottles and plastic cups containing the additive bisphenol A (BPA), which mimics estrogen and has been linked to serious health problems like cancer, diabetes, miscarriages and obesity.
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Green switched to BPA-free plastics to solve the issue, but was alarmed when he found research suggesting some of these "healthier" bottles and cups contained synthetic estrogens as well.
To get a more definitive answer, Green turned to the company he runs, the Californ0a-based Center for Environmental Health, to see just what additives were used to form the BPA-free plastics.
Mother Jones reports:
The center shipped Juliette's plastic cup, along with 17 others purchased from Target, Walmart and Babies R Us, to CertiChem, a lab in Austin, TX. More than a quarter—including Juliette's—came back positive for estrogenic activity.
These results mirrored the lab's findings in its broader National Institutes of Health-funded research on BPA-free plastics. CertiChem and its founder, George Bittner, who is also a professor of neurobiology at the University of Texas-Austin, had recently coauthored a paper in the NIH journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
It reported that "almost all" commercially available plastics that were tested leached synthetic estrogens—even when they weren't exposed to conditions known to unlock potentially harmful chemicals, such as the heat of a microwave, the steam of a dishwasher or the sun's ultraviolet rays. According to Bittner's research, some BPA-free products actually released synthetic estrogens that were more potent than BPA.