"BPA-free" is the buzzword of choice for water bottles and plastic packaging. Bisphenol A (BPA)—the chemical that hardens
plastic food containers and is in the lining of metal cans to prevent corrosion—has gotten bad press for having a harmful
estrogen-mimicking effect, which may cause early puberty and lower sperm counts, even raise your risk of obesity, diabetes
and some cancers (breast, ovarian, testicular, prostate).
Many manufacturers have made the switch to BPA-free But are those BPA-free plastic water bottles better? Now, emerging
science suggests the BPA-replacement chemicals may be just as harmful. In one study in Environmental Health Perspectives,
researchers looked at over 450 plastic containers, including BPA-free ones, and found almost all leached chemicals that
Bisphenol S (BPS) and bisphenol F (BPF) are the two most common replacements for BPA. Research in animals shows that both
chemicals disrupt hormone balance comparably to—and sometimes worse than—BPA. High levels of BPS may even promote weight
gain. The upside of the replacement BPS is that it may be less likely to leach into your food or beverage when heated in the
container (as opposed to BPA, which is highly sensitive to heat).
Bottom Line: BPA-free does not mean chemical free. And although the evidence is building
against BPA substitutes, more research is needed to assess the effects on human health. To avoid these chemicals in your
food, look for food packaged in glass and aseptic packaging (like Tetra Pak) and use glass and stainless steel for food
storage at home. And never heat food in any type of plastic container.
Check out some of our favorite options for reusable water
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