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Dean of Students

Chilling new research suggests BPA free plastics are not safer

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Look around you. College campuses are saturated in reusable plastic water bottles, and ISU is no different. Students and faculty alike are constantly sipping on their bottles, presumably reaping the multitudinous health benefits associated with increased water consumption.

Following a media frenzy in 2008, the public became increasingly disturbed by the health consequences associated with the consumption of a common plastic additive called bisphenol A (BPA).

Water bottle manufactures took notice, and so-called “BPA-free” plastic water bottles began to flood the market. From Nalgenes to Camelbaks to Bobbles, the reusable water bottles market is now dominated by these “BPA-free” bottles.

Archive Photo Reuseable water bottles are seen all across campus and are even sometimes given as prizes. Unfortunately, these plastic bottles may not be as BPA-free as manufactures may claim.

Archive Photo
Reusable water bottles are seen all across campus and are even sometimes given as prizes. Unfortunately, these plastic bottles may not be as BPA-free as manufactures may claim.

The negative health repercussions of BPA consumption have been noted in studies for a long time – as early as 1936.

BPA, which mimics estrogen, can cause a nearly endless list of ailments in humans.

“Pick a disease, literally pick a disease,” Frederick vom Saal, a biology professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia who studies BPA, says.

While “BPA-free” water bottles may seem like the perfect way to avoid the nasty estrogenic effects of BPA while still maintaining hydration, a new study suggests that BPA-free bottles may be just as hazardous for our health as those with BPA.

As initially reported in an article by Mariah Blake for Mother Jones magazine, a recent paper in Environmental Health Perspectives has made some chilling findings.

According to the artcle, “It reported that ‘almost all’ commercially available plastics that were tested leached synthetic estrogens – even when they weren’t exposed to conditions known to unlock potentially harmful chemicals, such as the heat of a microwave, the steam of a dishwasher or the sun’s ultraviolet rays.”

According to the research, some BPA-free products actually released synthetic estrogens that were even more potent – and dangerous – than BPA.

With this new information, it appears that BPA-free water bottles may be no safer than their BPA infested counterparts. It might be time to take a hard look at your trusted hydration device.

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