Carcinogen in Plastics: It Can Be in Your Baby`s Bottle
Drinking water bottles were taken off from the shelves in Canada in December and caused concerns worldwide. The panic was due to an article in Toxicology Letters which was first published online on November 2007 and in print on January 2008. The article reports on the chemical bisphenol A (PBA) which is used in the manufacture of plastics. PBA mimics the hormone estrogen and is supposedly carcinogenic.
The research tested whether PBA is being released into the bottle contents during use. The results show that indeed, drinks in these plastic bottles are being contaminated by PBA regardless of whether the bottle is new or used. In addition, the release of PBA goes faster when temperatures are higher (such as boiling water). The released substance into the water was tested in the lab and found to be toxic to brain cells.
Although Nalgene bottles were the most publicized brand to be taken off the shelves, other brands were actually involved as well. In fact, PBA is present in all plastics with polycarbonates and epoxy resins – including plastic dental braces, food packaging, and your baby`s formula bottles. And each time you sterilize those bottles or fill them with hot milk, you are actually releasing PBA.
We live in a plastic society. Plastic is very popular because it is strong, sturdy and unlike good old glass, unbreakable. But through plastic, we are actually exposed to dubious chemicals such as PBA – every day. According to the FDA, the amount of PBA released into the drinks is too low to cause any real harm. Do we want to risk it?
Le HH, Carlson EM, Chua JP, Belcher SM., 2008. Bisphenol A is released from polycarbonate drinking bottles and mimics the neurotoxic actions of estrogen in developing cerebellar neurons. Toxicol Lett. 2008 Jan 30;176(2):149-56. Epub 2007 Nov 19.