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Bisphenol A in bottles


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adiri bottles

Photo Credit: Adiri bottles: BPA Free, Phthalate Free, PVC Free , originally uploaded by thesoftlanding.

Plastic is a ubiquitous substance of modern life. Our lives are riddled with plastic products. From water bottles, to food containers, to toys and cell phones, the list is all-pervasive. What is this material? Plastics are made via a process called polymerization. Polymerization involves linking multiple single units (monomers) into a long chain (polymer) using extremely high temperatures and pressure. Although the polymerization process is supposed to tightly bind the constituent molecules together and make them inert and non-toxic, the process is not flawless and different chemical constituents do leak out of the plastic material into surrounding substances. One such molecule under intense scrutiny is Bisphenol A (BPA). Bisphenol A is a monomer used to manufacture polycarbonate plastics. The chemical bonds linking Bisphenol A together are subject to breakdown; thus leaking BPA into the surrounding environment. Bisphenol A is found in plastic baby bottles and may be harmful to young infants who have immature digestive tracts, reproductive tracts, nervous systems, and organs.

Bisphenol A exposure to developing fetuses and newborns in animal models has been shown to induce multiple cancers in various organs as an adult. In particular, the reproductive organs and breast tissue are affected. BPA has estrogenic activity and interferes with the body’s natural estrogen receptors. In utero exposure to BPA in animal models has been shown to predispose to cancerous lesions in the prostate. It has been shown to interfere with normal oocyte (egg) development in the ovaries of female fetuses. It has been found to cause cystic ovaries and cystic uterine tissue.

It is also know as an endocrine disruptor, meaning it interrupts normal lipid metabolism and leads to high cholesterol and obesity, likely instigating metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of diseases including Diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis. BPA can affect neurotransmitter ratios in the offspring of animals exposed to BPA during gestation. Small amounts of Bisphenol A can leak out of plastic bottles when they are heated. Although studies were done in animal models with larger doses of Bisphenol A, the possibility of extrapolating the results and applying them to human populations remains conceivable. The accumulation of Bisphenol A is cumulative and young infants, with their immature and rapidly developing nervous systems, reproductive tracts, and immature organs may be highly susceptible to such an insult.

What are some ways to avoid Bisphenol A exposure? Breastfeeding directly without using a bottle ensures zero exposure to Bisphenol A. If a bottle must be used, Bisphenol A -free bottles ,either glass or plastic, should be used. Born free bottles are glass bottles that are BPA free. Adiri is a plastic BPA free bottle.  The consequences of BPA on our youngest, most vulnerable citizens are far-reaching and unknown. Using the highest level of caution and safety should be the standard. For a thorough list of BPA-free products, please check out: www.naturemoms.com.

References:

  1. American Chemistry
  2. Mindfully.org
  3. NIH Public Access
  4. Industrial Health
  5. Pub Med Central/PLoS Genetics
  6. Pub Med Central/Environmental Health Perspectives
  7. NIH Public Access
  8. Journal of Pharmacological Sciences
  9. Environmental Health Perspectives
  10. Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
  11. NIH Public Access

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