Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Part 4 Naglene Bottles - Warning

My husband uses one at work.

We have several at home.

They are everyday items in most of our homes that we have all used for years.

They are now declared unsafe! What now? Nalgene Bottles. Apparently, they have been pulled from the shelves due to worries of the hormone-mimicking chemical bisphenol A (BPA). These very common water containers have led a major Canadian retailer to remove Nalgene, along with other polycarbonate plastic containers, from store shelves in early December. ('07)

"There is little dispute that the chemical can disrupt the hormonal system, but scientists disagree on whether the low doses found in food and beverage
containers can cause harm. The FDA and the plastics industry have argued that BPA-based products do not pose a health risk.

However, an expert panel of researchers recently reported that the potential for BPA to affect human health is a concern, and more research is needed. Many Americans currently have higher levels of BPA than those found to cause harm in lab animals. "

Yahoo News December 23, 2007

Dr Mercola says;

Although the colorful, durable, and lightweight Nalgene water bottles have been the choice of outdoor enthusiasts for years, scientific evidence has shown the plastic used to make these bottles may pose serious health hazards.

Made from lexan polycarbonate resin (marketed through Nalgene Outdoor Products), lexan was believed to be the ideal material for water bottles. It's extremely durable and doesn't allow odors or flavors to cling to distort the taste of
whatever you store in it. It was also thought that lexan did not leach BPA -- a
notion that has since been shown to be incorrect.

How Plastic Toxins May Damage Your Health Suspicions were raised on all polycarbonate plastics after researchers found birth defects and developmental abnormalities that caused miscarriages in mice. In the last ten years, some 700 studies have been published about BPA -- most of them indicating serious health hazards, at least in animals. The most troubling problem with BPA is that it mimics the female hormone estrogen.

The human body is extremely sensitive to sex hormones, and minuscule amounts can induce profound changes. Therefore, scientists are afraid even low levels of BPA could have a negative impact on human health. There is evidence (among mice and rats) that even low doses of BPA can cause: Hyperactivity, Early puberty, Increased fat formation, Abnormal sexual behavior, Disrupted reproductive cycles, and structural damage to the brain.

Despite all these findings, the U.S. health and environmental regulators keep insisting there is no evidence of harm to human health after 50 years of use. But wait? Looking at this short list above, don't some of these health problems sound remarkably familiar? Are these not some of the wide spread health issues you're surrounded by, which have increased dramatically in that time?

"The plastics industry finds ways to create misleading information about the safety -- or lack thereof -- of their products. The greed of the people who head up major corporations can, indeed, have a negative impact on your health.

I have hesitated posting all this on my blog due to the sensational nature of toxins in our food, water, and now water containers and just about everywhere else you turn. However, I think we do need to be aware, not paranoid, but aware that there are potential hazards in our world that were just not there 50 - 100 years ago. Today's world is not the same as when I grew up. You used to be able to survive much easier with common sense and logic.

Nowadays, insidious toxins seem to await at every turn, so I have come to a conclusion several years ago and wish to share it with you as my solution using common sense, to much of the environmental toxins that slap us in the face daily. Here it is,..... drum roll, please.......

Use glass!

I dumped most of my Tupperware, and Rubbermaid several years ago and use plastic only to store use large dry items such as dry pasta. I never- repeat - never heat in plastic containers or plastic wrap and avoid almost completely using the microwave. (another post another day)

The biggest problem I have had in adapting to glass exclusively is the necessity of carrying water with us on day trips. Glass is heavy when full of water and still quite heavy and breakable when empty, and you must remember to refill them every time you leave the house. (Gosh, how inconvenient!)

I haven't got a solution to this dilemma completely so I am still working on it. One way is to encourage everyone to drink lots well in advance when we may be gone for several hours-which increases stops at road side gas stations, by the way. And I am on the look out for glass juice type jars with reusable lids from thrift shops and then just get into the habit of thinking ahead.
In the meantime.

A few other common sense methods of avoiding toxins

1. Use only glass for baby bottles and baby dishes

2. Give your baby fabric toys instead of plastic ones.

3. Store your food in glass storage containers

4. Don't use microwaves

5. Avoid plastic wrap-especially when it touches food directly-

6. If you opt to use plastic kitchenware, at least get rid of the older, scratched-up varieties, avoid putting them in the dishwasher, and don't wash them with harsh detergents, as these things can cause more chemicals to leach into your food

....and a big one to me because it hits home for me personally.

7. Before allowing a dental sealant to be applied to your or your children's teeth , ask your dentist to verify that it does not contain BPA.

Who knows if the sealant applied to my children's teeth about 15 years ago was safe or not and whether or not it contributed to my 27 year old sons cancer diagnosed last year. I may never know- but there is no way anyone will apply anything to my children's teeth ever without me doing a safety check first! At the time, I just didn't know enough to ask the right questions and blindly and naively trusted my dentist.

Apparently these are the numbers on the plastic that are the culprits so far.
Be sure to avoid those marked on the bottom with the recycling label No. 7, as these varieties may contain BPA.

Containers marked with the recycling labels No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 do not contain BPA (however they may contain other unsavory chemicals that you're best off avoiding by using glass instead).

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