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Tag: BPA-free

BPA-free Waterbottles

One of my Jazzercise friends approached me during class this morning wondering if her plastic Nalgene waterbottle was BPA-free and therefore safe to drink from. Nalgene makes a line of BPA-free water bottles, so as long as her water bottle came from that product line, I would consider it safe to use regularly. (More BPA-free products here and here.)

“I do put it in the dishwasher,” she confessed next.

Here’s the problem: the dishwasher can overheat plastic, causing microscopic flaws in the material. These flaws allow the plastics to microscopically disintegrate and leach chemicals into the foods or liquids placed in them. Nalgene (the company) recommends using these methods to clean water bottles:

  • Soak in warm soapy water
  • Soak in warm water with lemon
  • Soak in warm water with baking soda

In our house, we now hand-wash anything we use that is made of plastic — including travel coffee mugs, food storage containers, and water bottles. We’ve got a pile of non-BPA-free water bottles waiting for the next garage sale and have transitioned the kids completely to glassware and ceramic dishes.

While we do not have a plastic-free house by any means — yet –, we are trying to eliminate BPAs little by little in our journey toward living naturally and robust health.

Plastic Free For the Holidays

Since we now know that BPA is found in baby bottles, water bottles, infant formula, and even our canned foods, one of my goals has been to change my plastic habits. If you have this goal, too, you should know about this free bag of enviro-friendly goodies the Environmental Working Group is offering for the holidays.

Weaning my family off of plastic has been harder than I would have thought.

I’m pretty good about bringing my own canvas bags to the grocery stores, and getting better about bringing them to places like Target. I tossed all the sippy cups… well, except for a few with retractable straws that I keep for those times when you just don’t want a spill on the couch. I figure, using glassware most of the time and plastic cups only occassionally, must be keeping us mostly safe from BPAs.

As I said, I’m having a hard time giving up all of my plasticware. Especially plastic food storage containers and zip-top baggies.

The thought of giving up my Tupperware drawer (now mostly Glad and Ziploc) is enough to make me hyperventilate. What are the alternatives? At any given moment, I might have 5 or more plastic storage containers of food in my fridge. And what am I supposed to use when I load my freezer with containers of homemade soups?

I remember when I used to clean out and use jars from pickles, marinara sauce, and salsa for storing and freezing soups. This was in my starving artist days after college when I worked in an art gallery in Santa Fe and waitressed at night. The problem with using glass jars for freezing is that they can shatter if you fill them too full. Which, of course, happened to me more than once. In those days, I would just remove the glass, rinse the frozen cylinder of soup with hot water to remove the outer layer, and heat up whatever was left to eat. As my husband and I remark to each other at times, “You probably won’t find this in the good parenting manual.”

Do you know the truth about your bottled water? Your cosmetics? Your infant formula? Your canned food?

The Environmental Working Group researches, exposes and informs you about toxic chemicals and hidden contaminants in everything from your shampoo to your kitchen cupboard. Then we offer “pollution solutions” to help you make healthier choices every day.

Take their fight against bisphenol A (BPA). EWG helped expose the risks of BPA – a potent hormone disrupter that’s been leaching toxic chemicals into countless everyday items. BPA is found in baby bottles, water bottles, infant formula and even our canned foods. They’ve been fighting non-stop to make sure BPA is banned from consumer products.

As consumers, it’s hard to know how to avoid BPA. That’s why they filled our 2008 Pollution Solutions Holiday Gift Bag with BPA-free goodies to keep you healthy and also reduce waste.

When you make your first-time donation to EWG of $135 or more, your contribution will be matched dollar for dollar by generous donors and they’ll send you a Pollution Solutions Holiday Gift Bag.

As a special incentive, the first 500 donors who order the gift bag will also receive a complimentary copy of the book Green Goes With Everything by Sloan Barnett.

Curious about what’s in the bag? Check out these great items:

– A 27 oz. Klean Kanteen stainless steel bottle — the perfect solution to using less plastic and avoiding contaminated bottled water
– Jumbo Enviro-Tote made from 100% recycled plastic, printed with EWG’s pollution solutions
– 6-piece Pyrex glass container set (no more Tupperware!)
– Crummy Brothers organic chocolate chip cookies
– $25 in free product coupons plus EWG’s most popular tools for healthy living

Donating to EWG is a great investment. They pride ourselves on staying lean and stretching your donations to the limit — so your money goes toward groundbreaking research and sweeping environmental change. And with a more environmentally friendly Congress and Presidential administration on the way in, EWG will have even more opportunities in 2009 to push for the kind of change we need to protect our health and our environment.

Plastic bottles and BPA

I’ve been trying to stick my head in the sand and not think about the dangers posed by plastic drinking vessels.

Here’s the problem: polycarbonate plastic, the kind used in baby bottles, sippy cups, sports bottles, etc., leaches a chemical called bisphenol A into liquids. In mice, the effects of BPA include increased body weight, early puberty, and increases in hormone-dependent cancers, according to BPA researchers at the University of Missouri.

Unfortunately, The National Toxicology Program of the National Instititutes of Health found that humans are exposed to up to 1,000-times higher levels of BPA than those mice.

So what is a concerned person or parent to do now?

There are alternatives for non-BPA plastic items. I bought my Nalgene non-BPA polycarbonate sports bottles at Whole Foods. Granted, they were a bit pricey, but I consider it worth it for the safety of my family.

For baby bottles, look for MAM, Adiri, Thinkbaby, Born Free, and Green to Grow brands of bottles. Some of these can be found at Whole Foods, Target, or BabiesRUs.

For sippy cups, look for Born Free, Klean Kanteen, Thermos, and BPAFreeKids. Some can be found at REI, Whole Foods, and even Walgreens.