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New Study: Most Plastics (Including BPA-Free Plastics) Leach Hormone-Like Chemicals

03.03.11 New Study: Most Plastics (Including BPA-Free Plastics) Leach Hormone-Like Chemicals

plastic post

An important article was released in Environmental Health Perspectives (who is EHP) yesterday (see article here) and was covered by NPR (see coverage here).

The goal of the study, according to EHP was to "determine whether commercially available plastic resins and products, including baby bottles and other products advertised as BPA-free, release chemicals having EA" (estrogenic activity). The research team selected more than "450 products from a range of stores (Walmart to Whole Foods), the products selected were designed for food use". 

The results are disconcerting. Here are a few excerpts from NPR:

  • "During the first round of tests, exposing plastics to saltwater and alcohol, more than 70% of the products released hormone-disrupting chemicals."  
  • "After subjecting the products to real life conditions like the dishwasher or microwave, that percentage rose to over 95%". 
  • "The team concentrated on BPA-free baby bottles and water bottles, Bittner says, "and all of them released chemicals having estrogenic activity." Sometimes the BPA-free products had even more activity than products known to contain BPA." 

It is important to note that this is only one study and as NPR appropriately points out in their coverage:

  • "Some scientists wondered about the test's reliability. Others noted that wine and many vegetables also can act like estrogen. And a few observed that Bittner has a financial interest in the testing lab and in a company involved in making plastic products that don't release estrogenic chemicals."

That said, our gut tells us this won't be the last study to have similar findings.  We have been concerned about this for years.  It is why, when we purchase for our family and for MightyNest we do everything we can to avoid plastic. Instead we focus on materials that are inherently safe and will not leach such as glass, medical grade silicone, organic cotton, natural wood, and more. (if interested see our pledge).

So what can we do to protect our loved ones?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • limit plastic as much as possible 
  • replace plastic with non-leaching materials like glass
  • if you absolutely must use plastic, keep it out of the microwave and dishwasher and try to limit exposure to the sun (like leaving it in your car) and avoid using it for acidic liquids.
Both articles are worth reading and please share your thoughts in the comments.  
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