Think you’re doing right by your family by making the switch to BPA-free plastics for water bottles and storage containers? Here’s what you need to know about BPA and why glass, instead of BPA-free plastic, is always your best bet.
The BPA Backstory
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an endocrine-disrupting plastic chemical found in many consumer products in the U.S and around the world. Used widely as a plastics hardener since the 1940’s, BPA is now among the world's highest produced chemicals—but healthcare experts, consumers and consumer watchdogs have begun to take notice of the potential dangers of BPA use. Canada took the steps to classify it as a toxic substance in 2010 and in 2012 the FDA banned BPA from baby bottles and cups. This chemical compound mimics estrogen in the body, which can be especially dangerous for pregnant women, as well as infants and children. New research also suggests links between BPA and cancer, fertility, birth defects and diabetes.
Bait & Switch
In the past few years, there’s been an increase in the manufacturing of “BPA-free” products, utilizing different chemical compounds such as Bisphenol-S (BPS) and polypropylene. But what is known about these BPA replacement chemicals, and are they safe for the body?
Research suggests that BPS has similar hormone-mimicking characteristics to BPA, disrupting and changing patterns of estrogen cell growth, death and release. Polypropylene is still considered a safe plastic by many, but research is constantly evolving and changing. The Toxic Watch Alliance reported that two chemicals found in polypropylene ruined a medical research experiment at the University of Alberta due to toxic chemical leaching from the widely used plastic.
Think you’re safe using aluminum cans instead of plastic? Think again. Nearly all cans (including canned goods and canned drinks) contain BPA or BPS in the form of a thin layer of epoxy. This is what keeps your food or drink from absorbing a metallic taste.
Make a Clear Change
So what’s a health-conscious consumer to do? The clear choice is to utilize glass over plastic whenever possible to avoid chemicals that may leach out of plastic once it’s heated or exposed to everyday elements.
Need another reason to switch to glass? How about better tasting food and drinks? Products stored in plastic have a higher probability of picking up bad tastes and odors. This is never an issue with properly sealed glass. And even though the epoxy in aluminum cans is supposed to keep the metallic taste out, do you know anyone who prefers a cold beer from a can instead of a bottle? Neither do we!
A variety of lighter, portable glass container products have hit the market lately. Begin making the switch to glass by ditching your plastic water bottle and picking up a glass one today. Then replace plastic cups with mason jars or baby bottles and cups with safe glass versions. Next stop, the plastic wear drawer!