Although the American and Canadian governments can’t agree about whether polycarbonate bottles are bad for us, the fact that there is discussion at all makes me nervous enough to minimize my use of plastic in the kitchen. So nervous, in fact, that I’ve thrown out our refillable plastic water bottles and replaced them with stainless steel versions like the one here.
Results of Health Canada testing reveal that bisphenol A, the chemical that makes plastic bottles pliable, disrupts the body’s hormones and could be toxic even at low levels. Their scientists felt so strongly about these findings that they issued a ban on polycarbonate baby bottles.
I’m not the only one to extrapolate that what’s bad for babies is likely bad for kids and adults, too. In fact, stores like Mountain Equipment Co-op and Sport Check have discontinued selling Nalgene water bottles, a popular polycarbonate product, since this news was issued last winter.
Not sure if your plastic bottles contain bisphenol A? The following helpful screening info is excerpted from the American National Wildlife Federation Website.
“How to identify plastic products containing BPA:
• Plastic containing BPA polymers carries the recycling symbol #7, which can also indicate other kinds of mixed plastics. The plastic may be called polycarbonate, lexan or polysulfone and is generally a clear, hard plastic, though it may be tinted different colours.
• Clear plastic baby bottles and children’s training cups are likely to be made of polycarbonate.
• If in doubt, contact the manufacturer to ask if the bottle or cup is polycarbonate.”
What do you drink water from when you’re not at home? Do you worry about the long-term effects of plastic water bottles?