Monday, March 28, 2011

BPA-Free Or Not, Plastics Are Bad Stuff

"In a new study for the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers found that most plastic products leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals — and that was true even for products labeled 'BPA-free.' Scientists led by George Bittner, a neurobiologist at the University of Texas, looked at 455 common plastic products and found that 70% tested positive for estrogenic activity. Once those products were subject to real-world conditions — microwaving or dishwashing — that proportion rose to 95%. As the study concluded:
Almost all commercially available plastic products we sampled, independent of the type of resin, product, or retail source, leached chemicals having reliably-detectable EA, including those advertised as BPA-free. In some cases, BPA-free products released chemicals having more EA [endocrine activity] than BPA-containing products.
BPA is particularly worrisome simply because it is so common. Nearly every American has some amount of BPA in his or her body, in part because plastics are so ubiquitous. (And the U.S. seems to be especially contaminated — a recent study found that Americans have twice as much BPA in their bodies as Canadians.) The Food and Drug Administration expressed 'some concerns' last year about the potential impact of BPA on the brains of fetuses, infants and children — but no federal agency has yet said that BPA or any other potentially endocrine-disrupting chemicals are unsafe."

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