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How Safe Are the Plastic Water Bottles? Beware of BPA-Containing Polycarbonate Plastic Bottles?

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A Summary of Several Major Medical Studies of Chemicals in Plastics
Unless we live next to a pristine lake or an unspoiled stream somewhere high up on a mountain rarely touched by human civilization, we have to consider—and perhaps even worry about—what type of containers and bottles to use for storing the filtered RO water. In essence, we cannot truly enjoy pure clean water without having to think about the question of what type of clean containers we should use. If we fill a toxic-laden bottle known to leach harmful chemicals into its content with the purest water found on Earth, what is the use of having that purest water? Concerned we should. We simply cannot ignore this important question of what type of container and bottle to use for storing our food and water.

Stop BPA

Since April 2008 when the Canadian government announced a ban of BPA-containing Nalgene and polycarbonate plastic water bottles for babies, polycarbonate bottles have been in the mainstream national news. BPA is the acronym for Bisphenol A, a monomer used to produce polycarbonate plastic, the resin lining of food can, and many other products, with an annual global manufacturing capacity exceeding 6.4 billion pounds (Environmental Health Perspectives journal, August 2005). It is revealed in an analysis of BPA that the ester bonds in the BPA-based polymers are subject to hydrolysis (heat and contact with acidic and basic compounds can accelerate hydrolysis of BPA), thereby leaching BPA into food and water and leading to widespread human exposure. BPA is used to harden plastics, making the transparent and colorful Nalgene-type water bottles virtually shatterproof and unbreakable. Considered an "environmental estrogen," BPA can trigger a whole host of diseases in animals and humans. The chemical structures of polycarbonate and Bisphenol A are presented as follows:

According to the New York Times (2008), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved some 80,000 chemicals for consumer use, citing a statistic published by the Center for Children's Health and the Environment. Of those 80,000 approved chemicals, 2,800 are manufactured in large volumes of more than one million pounds per year. But fewer than half of those high-volume consumer-use chemicals have been studied for their toxicity and health effects in animals or humans.

Human Exposure of BPA in Japan and the United States
Keep in mind that BPA exposure in ordinary Americans is so widespread that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 95% of urine samples from Americans have "measurable BPA levels" (Calafat el al., Environmental Health Perspective, 2005). In 1992 and 1999 in Japan, researchers found that 92% and 87.5% of university men tested have BPA in their urine (Arakawa et al., Environmental Health Prevention Med., 2004). So what are the consequences of having BPA in our blood and tissue?

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