Study Finds Aluminum Bottles Leech BPA

The controversial polycarbonate plastics chemical, <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">bisphenol A (BPA), best known for its presence in children’s sippy cups, baby bottles, and sport water bottles, has just been found in some metal water bottles.

Gaining popularity as a greener, more environmentally appropriate, healthier option to plastics containers which leach BPA, WebMD explains that a new study has found that some aluminum bottles could actually release more BPA than the plastic bottles they are seeking to replace.

The new study reveals that the aluminum alternatives are not always BPA-free and found that, in what WebMD described as a “carefully controlled” study, ultra-pure water was stored in a variety of containers for a five-day period, some of the aluminum bottles actually released as much as five times more BPA than older generation, polycarbonate bottles, said WebMD. The study is published in the journal, Chemosphere.

“It’s been used for marketing purposes,” study researcher Scott M. Belcher, PhD, an associate professor of pharmacology and cell biophysics at the University of Cincinnati, in Ohio, told WebMD. “If you pick up an aluminum bottle from your super-cheap discount retailer, you can’t be so sure what’s in it,” Belcher added, “Especially aluminum, because they do require a lining of some sort.” The sprayed-on liner is often manufactured with a BPA-containing epoxy resin.

“It may be aluminum on the outside, but if it’s plastic on the inside or this epoxy, it’s the same thing as a polycarbonate bottle,” Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst for the nonprofit Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C., said, quoted WebMD.

According to experts, BPA-containing epoxy liners will typically be copper in color and will feel sticky when touched; however, in some cases, the liner might not feel like anything, said WebMD. “For the consumer, this is a tricky issue, to try to boil this down to some simple, useful tips that people can use to distinguish products,” Lunder says. “This study is kind of showing that you can’t just look at what’s outside of the container, you need to know some specifics about what’s on the inside,” quoted WebMD.

Lunder suggests carefully following label directions and noted that if a bottle is epoxy lined, more BPA will be released with heated liquids, reported WebMD. The research team said that most products claiming to be “BPA-Free” generally are; however, that designation does not “have any regulatory meaning or definition,” said WebMD. The study said there are no BPA issues with uncoated stainless steel bottles.

“This new study finds that some products marketed as BPA-free alternatives are—and some are not—BPA free, reinforcing that we have a buyer-beware consumer economy with very little government oversight,” says Ruthann Rudel in an email to WebMD. Rudel is the director of research at the Silent Spring Institute in Newton, Massachusetts. “People want to know that their health is not jeopardized by food packaging and other consumer products, and to get there we need to rethink our approach to chemical regulation,” she added.

BPA is present in a growing number of consumer products including food and beverage can linings, CDs and DVDs, dental sealants, nautical resins, and thermal receipt paper. BPA, with its estrogenic, hormone-mimicking properties, interrupts sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children and has been linked to toxic injury and implications in cardiovascular disease, intestinal problems, brain cell connection interference, increased risks of reproductive and immune system diseases and disorders, problems with liver function testing, interruptions in chemotherapy treatment, premature puberty, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and other female fertility and endocrine issues, and erectile dysfunction and male sexual problems.

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