Before giving birth to my first daughter nearly three years ago, I went on an anti-BPA rampage. I threw away nearly everything plastic in my house and made sure anything that entered was BPA-free. In lieu of plastic water bottles, I bought aluminum ones.
And now it appears to be time to dump the aluminum bottles. Because of BPA. Oy.
A toxicologist from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine has found that BPA leaching is even more prevalent in some metal water bottles than in some of the bad polycarbonate-plastic ones. Warms the cockles of your heart, no?
BPA, or bisphenol A, is an endocrine disruptor, which can mimic the body’s own hormones and may lead to negative health effects, particularly in those very young. However, the BPA in the aluminum water bottles isn’t from the actual metal in the bottles, but from an epoxy-resin lining that’s based on BPA’s recipe.
If there’s a silver lining (yes, double pun intended) for people like me with an oversupply amount of aluminum water bottles, it’s that the BPA leaching by the worst performing water bottles was still low.
“Low is a fair characterization,” the study’s author says. “Infinitesimally low and irrelevant is not fair,” he adds, because there are so many potential sources of the pollutant in the human environment “and this is just one.”
The study looked at old polycarbonate and resin-lined aluminum bottles as well as new BPA-free plastic bottles and some aluminum bottles. After performing a variety of experiments with heating and cooling water, the best brands were the new Sigg and Nalgene bottles, whose levels of BPA were below the limit of detection. The worst bottles weren’t the oldest ones, but the new epoxy-resin-lined aluminum water bottles.
People looking to buy BPA-free aluminum bottles are advised to inspect inside of them — those with golden-orange coating indicate a material that can shed BPA. Those with a white coating are the safest.
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