bisphenol A http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2643/all en-US Do plastic baby bottles cause diabetes and heart disease? http://www.wisebread.com/do-baby-bottles-cause-diabetes-and-heart-disease <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-baby-bottles-cause-diabetes-and-heart-disease" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/nipple.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="375" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Me, I&#39;ve been a big proponent of doing away with <a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1">plastics</a> for a while now. I&#39;d like to feel vindicated, but today&#39;s issue of USA Today just sort of made me sad. Check out the slide show <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-09-14-bisphenol-danger_N.htm">here</a>.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-09-16-bpa-heart_N.htm">study was released today</a> that some scientists believe implicates bisphenol A in the formation of diabetes and heart disease in humans. Results are preliminary, and more studies need to be done. And, of course, the FDA still says that plastics are more or less safe. </p> <p>&quot;Some scientists say the study — released today to coincide with a Food and Drug Administration meeting— shows that bisphenol A, or BPA, is too dangerous to allow in consumer products, especially those used by babies and pregnant women.&quot; USA Today</p> <p>&quot;Higher BPA exposure, reflected in higher urinary<sup> </sup>concentrations of BPA, may be associated with avoidable morbidity<sup> </sup>in the community-dwelling adult population. &quot; <a href="http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/300.11.1303">JAMA</a></p> <p>&quot;Two weeks ago, the National Toxicology Program said it has &quot;some concern&quot; that BPA alters development of the brain and prostate gland in children and babies, both before and after birth.&quot; <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-09-14-bisphenol-danger_N.htm">USA Today</a> </p> <p>A number of stores are <a href="http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1428831/walmart_toys_r_us_to_remove_products_with_bpa/index.html">removing products</a> that contain bisphenol A from their shelves - Toys R Us and Walmart have both been pulling toys and plastic baby bottles since early summer.</p> <p>The plastic industry is, of course, fighting every attempt to reduce or change the way we use plastic in our everyday lives. From <a href="http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/378828_bags12.html">fighting the plastic bag fees</a> that are being instituted in my fair city of Seattle and <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23596727/">elsewhere</a>, the American Chemistry Council is <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/new-bisphenol-study-has-limited/story.aspx?guid=%7BC461568B-7EB6-4598-A98A-668C147D7DCD%7D&amp;dist=hppr">doing their darndest</a> to keep a lid on this possibly dangerous substance. To be fair, the Canadian plastics industry is <a href="http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/September2008/16/c3392.html">no better</a>.</p> <p>Of course, I see the value of having plastics in our lives. I certainly wouldn&#39;t want to ride my motorcycle wearing a helmet made of tree bark and sheepskin. And it IS difficult to know if studies like this one are truly causal: it&#39;s possible that high levels of bisphenol A in humans with diabetes and heart attacks are linked, but it doesn&#39;t necessarily mean that the relationship is causal. Perhaps people with heart disease and diabetes eat more prepared (unhealthy) food from plastic packaging, hence the higher levels of the chemicals in their blood.</p> <p>I don&#39;t like fear-mongering, but I&#39;m also aware of an industry&#39;s deep-seated need to <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/19/AR2005061900691.html">fight scientific evidence</a>.</p> <p>In any case, I have been limiting my exposure to products containing bisphenol A as much as I possibly can, and will continue to do so.</p> <p><a href="http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/06/02/16/bisphenol-a_why_makers_of_toys_medical_equipment__amp_more_dont_want_you_to_worry_about_bispheno.htm">Six Wise</a> has some good tips on how to avoid BPA in your life (following list is taken from Six Wise).</p> <p>If you want to avoid products with BPA, keep in mind the following:</p> <ul> <li>Plastic that contains BPA carries the #7 recycling symbol.</li> <li>Most clear plastic baby bottles and child cups are made of BPA-containing plastic.</li> <li>Dental sealant may leach BPA; this is being debated. You may want to avoid dental sealants on your children&#39;s baby teeth.</li> </ul> <p>You can minimize your BPA exposure by:</p> <ul> <li>Replacing plastic food and drink containers and utensils with glass, ceramic or metal varieties.</li> <li>Purchasing glass baby bottles.</li> <li>Using baby bottles and sippy cups made of polyethylene plastic (#1, #2, #4 recycling symbols) or polypropylene (#5) (these are usually colored, not clear, and should still not be heated).</li> <li>Not using canned foods or foods wrapped in plastic.</li> <li>Not letting children put plastic toys in their mouths. </li> <li>Being careful with BPA-containing plastics, if you choose to use them. This means not exposing them to heat (microwave, dishwasher) or harsh detergents (bleach, etc.) and not letting food or beverages sit in the containers for too long.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-baby-bottles-cause-diabetes-and-heart-disease">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-plastic-killing-us-the-true-cost-of-convenience">Is Plastic Killing Us? The True Cost of Convenience</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-green-tea-all-its-cracked-up-to-be-its-close">Is Green Tea All It&#039;s Cracked Up to Be? It&#039;s close.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-keep-your-desk-from-killing-you">5 Ways to Keep Your Desk From Killing You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Health and Beauty baby bottles bisphenol A BPA cancer cells diabetes heart disease human DNA plastic poison Tue, 16 Sep 2008 22:48:52 +0000 Andrea Karim 2433 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Plastic Killing Us? The True Cost of Convenience http://www.wisebread.com/is-plastic-killing-us-the-true-cost-of-convenience <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/plastic_sm.jpg" alt=" " width="199" height="296" /></p> <p>Plastic is really hard to avoid. In fact, it&#39;s everywhere. Clothing, mattresses, furniture, carpet - plastic is used to prevent fires as well as <a href="http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.10/abfabs.html">food stains</a>. </p> <p>And now, plastic is in an even more exciting place! Your bloodstream. Can Teflon-coated arteries be far behind?</p> <p>The recent stories about the return of serious metastisized cancers in public political figures Elizabeth Edwards and Tony Snow tripped my anxiety switch a bit. Less so than with the impending recession, but enough to get me worried. Almost everyone knows someone who is living with, or has died from, cancer. My own grandfather had colon cancer. Half of my mother&#39;s friends appear to be recovering from breast cancer.</p> <h4>It all started with Eve</h4> <p>Recent studies are placing some of the cancer blame on female hormones. Man, women get blamed for everything. But seriously, estrogen just doesn&#39;t seem to do anything right. First, we were using it to ease symptoms of menopause in women, then it was found to <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12468039/site/newsweek/">increase cancer rates</a>. Estrogen released by sewage systems is <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/upi/index.php?feed=Science&amp;article=UPI-1-20070116-08190400-bc-us-sewagefish.xml">causing problems with fish populations</a>. And now, it seems, estrogen, or chemicals that mimic estrogen&#39;s properties, are causing cancer left and right.</p> <p>In lab rodents, anyway.</p> <p>As reported in the <a href="http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/sciencemedicine/story/B0650EC0CEF08246862572950012A655?OpenDocument">St. Louis Post Dispatch</a>, scientists are just now discovering the link between plastics and estrogen. And it&#39;s kind of scary.</p> <p class="blockquote">In studies with mice, researchers have found that adult females exposed to bisphenol A in the womb have irregular estrus cycles and stop cycling earlier than unexposed females. The animals exposed to the chemical had changes in a part of the brain that controls ovulation and cycling, Soto said. Female rats exposed to bisphenol A in the womb developed carcinoma in situ and pre-cancerous changes in their mammary tissue as adults, she said.</p> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol_A">Bisphenol A</a> is a compound that was studied in the 1930s for purposed of birth control, so its link to estrogen-like behavior is clear (estrogen is used in birth control pills to prevent pregnancy). The fact that bisphenol A molecules can link together to form a type of plastic is what makes it fascinating. Its potential for industrial use is why it was never actually used for birth control.</p> <p>Well, just because you&#39;re not popping it in your mouth everyday at the same time in the form of a pill, that doesn&#39;t mean that you don&#39;t have bisphenol floating around in your body.</p> <p class="blockquote">The chemical is ubiquitous and almost unavoidable.... Most people carry the chemical around in their bodies at low levels — about 1 part per billion in blood, urine and tissues. &quot;That seems like a staggeringly small number until you realize that the natural hormone it&#39;s acting like works at levels 10,000 times lower than that....&quot;</p> <h4>Is there a frugal angle here?</h4> <p>Some of you Frugal Freaks are now saying, &quot;Um, Andrea? That is your name, right? Well, I like my Wise Bread posts to be about money and how I can save it. Not about dumb things like health care and cancer and how cancer affects me and the public... and the uninsured... and job performance, and as an extension, taxes and healthcare costs as they apply to the insured... and... OK, Andrea, I get the damn point. Cancer is affecting us, and trickle down economics means that, even if I don&#39;t get cancer, it the rates are skyrocketing, it will affect my bottom line somehow.&quot;</p> <p>Excellent, I&#39;m glad you understand. If you like, we can put aside the emotional impact of living and dealing with cancer. If you get really cold and calculating about it, <a href="http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=43674">cancer is expensive</a>, in terms of time and money and productivity. <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16441782/">Cancer costs</a>. And as baby boomers age, it&#39;s going to cost all of us more and more.</p> <h4>What can we do?</h4> <p>San Francisco, my favorite bastion of forward-thinking, politically active and highly paranoid citizens, was thinking of <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/03/31/BAGIOC13FM1.DTL">banning the chemical</a> in children&#39;s products back in 2005. I&#39;m having trouble finding out if the ban actually occurred, but the plastics industry went completely insane. You can read a great rebuttal from a Plastics Council hack <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/01/17/EDGJNGOA9R1.DTL">here</a>, or enjoy a <a href="http://www.coalitionforconsumerchoice.org/">&quot;consumers&quot; group</a> that is completely dedicated to keeping bisphenol A in our products.</p> <p>I wonder if there was a similar consumers group that was pushing to keep saccharine in our diet drinks?</p> <p>Industry reps, of course, deny that there is any problem with bisphenol A, using this brilliant logic:</p> <p class="blockquote">&quot;This isn&#39;t a basketball game. You don&#39;t just count up studies and see what the score is,&quot; said Steven G. Hentges, executive director of the Polycarbonate Bisphenol A Global Group of the American Chemistry Council. </p> <p>Actually, you CAN add up the studies and see what the score is. That&#39;s the whole point of studies. I mean, yes, many scientific studies are flawed, and other factors must always be taken into consideration. For instance, what if it turned out that every person tested in the bisphenol studies was a pack-a-day smoker. We&#39;d expect to see elevated levels of cancer in smokers. But in this case, we&#39;re talking about 140 government-sponsored studies, not a few rogue studies by whacky environmentalists.</p> <h4>The Great Divide</h4> <p>As usual, this controversy seems to be divided along political lines. People who really love bisphenol A are either industry reps or Fox News contributors who run web sites that mock the hell out of Al Gore. Many sites that seem to take the concerns about BPA seriously are run by environmentalists.</p> <p>But the Nation Institutes of Health is looking into this matter, so for now, the best we can do is really push for further studies to see if the amounts of BPA that we have in our bloodstream are really dangerous to us.</p> <p class="heading">OK, fine, but really, how do I avoid this stuff?</p> <p>Well, I wish that I could simply give you a list of things to avoid, but unless you are going to get Lasik surgery (since bisphenol A is found in glasses and contact lenses) and throw away your Nalgene bottle (and a host of other products), then really this is one of those issues where you have to get politically involved. </p> <p>OK, fine. Here&#39;s a list of products that may contain bisphenol A, and some possible alternatives: </p> <ul> <li><strong>Hard, clear plastic baby bottles</strong> - EVERYONE knows that breast is best! Or use glass bottles like my parents did.</li> <li><strong>Hard, clear, sometimes tinted, plastic water bottles</strong> - I never liked those Nalgene bottles anyway.</li> <li><strong>Hard, clear plastic bowls, tableware, storage containers</strong> - Use glass and ceramic.</li> <li><strong>Liners inside food and drink cans</strong> - You shouldn&#39;t be drinking stuff from cans, anyway.</li> <li><strong>Dental sealant to prevent cavities</strong> - Brush your teeth! Don&#39;t let them seal your teeth with plastic!</li> <li><strong>Electronic equipment</strong> - Read a book. I can&#39;t think of anything else, because I love electronics equipment, and that&#39;s a broad category.</li> <li><strong>Sports safety equipment</strong> - I&#39;m not going to suggest that you don&#39;t wear a helmet. WEAR A HELMET.</li> <li><strong>Medical devices</strong> - Too darn bad. Can&#39;t do without those.</li> <li><strong>Pet carriers</strong> - Would it be uncouth to suggest just bounding and gagging the little critters?</li> <li><strong>Spray-on flame retardants</strong> - Nope. Can&#39;t avoid these. Unless you shop for natural furniture and floors.</li> <li><strong>CD/DVDs</strong> - iTunes, baby.</li> </ul> <p>Pretty tough to avoid all that stuff, isn&#39;t it? </p> <p>Unfortunately, I&#39;m not sure that there is a great answer out there as to how to deal with something as ubiquitous as this chemical. Plastics are an undeniably amazing product. But I&#39;m starting to question just how many bits of Tupperware I need.</p> <p>Also, I&#39;m feeling bad about mocking the <a href="/life-without-toiletpaper-bum-deal">New York lady</a> for taking her food to work in a mason jar. Maybe she has the right idea.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-plastic-killing-us-the-true-cost-of-convenience">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-baby-bottles-cause-diabetes-and-heart-disease">Do plastic baby bottles cause diabetes and heart disease?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hair-conditioners-you-can-make-at-home">5 Hair Conditioners You Can Make at Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-really-need-soft-water">Do You Really Need “Soft” Water?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Health and Beauty bisphenol A BPA cancer coating contact lens DDT estrogen female hormone glasses plastic polymers Wed, 28 Mar 2007 23:43:15 +0000 Andrea Karim 410 at http://www.wisebread.com