Is bottled water safe? The latest buzz on Bis-phenol A

RecycleBPA (or Bis-phenol A) is a chemical in plastics which can leach out of the plastic containers into the food products we eat. Previous studies showing precancerous tumors, urinary tract problems and early puberty were disregarded because the researchers injected the chemical into rats rather than feeding it to them. But the federal National Toxicology Program has changed their stance on those studies and is now asking the FDA to reconsider the safety of BPA.  Hear Dr Jim’s take on this issue now…

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7 thoughts on “Is bottled water safe? The latest buzz on Bis-phenol A”

  1. What about BPAs that leak out of the plastic during heating? Will this speed up the rate at which BPAs leach out?

    Just to cut down on the landfills, I use the same water bottle for both cold water, and for hot tea. And typically, I re-use the bottle for a couple of weeks before I get a new one.

    The plastic always buckles a bit, as the hot water goes in, and I imagine the BPAs are leaching out more than if I were to put the bottle in the microwave.

  2. What you are describing is actually a standard laboratory method called “extraction” and yes, heating speeds the process. I would not recommend heating any plastics that do not say “microwave safe” on the product. And many that are “safe” do contain BPA. For hot tea, I would stick with the travel mugs designed for that type of use rather than the disposable water bottles.

    Another nice way to go is the Sigg line of aluminum bottles. They have an epoxy lining that does not contain BPA and does not leach chemicals, according to the company.

    Here’s one on Amazon: Sigg Traveler Classic Water Bottle (1.0-Liters)

    I preferred the wide-mouth lexan bottles since they are easy to clean. But they are plastic and leach BPA. Sigg says that their bottles are dishwasher-proof and the high temps in a dishwasher should kill most bacteria.

  3. Interesting story… the reporter makes a good point that the landscape is confusing at this point. There is plenty here to raise concern and warrant further study, but no convincing data that orally ingested BPA is a grave health risk; conversely, not alot of convincing data that it is safe either. Should the plastics companies be asked to shoulder some of the burden of proof? Studies cost money and adequate studies cost real money!

  4. New study in JAMA
    further raises the level of concern, but still does not answer the question. Dreadlocks are associated with Reggae music, but does one cause the other? High urine concentrations of BPA are associated with increased risk of heart, liver and diabetic disease. But is this the BPA or the ingestion of the products inside the plastic like soft drinks that cause those diseases? In other words, higher BPA levels may just be a marker for higher soda intake. And perhaps it is the soda doing the real damage?

    If I had babies, I’d switch to glass bottles. But I will still drink the occasional soda or bottled water and not give this too much worry. If you are a soft drink and bottled water addict, you may have to rethink those habits.

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