The estrogenic chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) has been villified in recent years for its ubiquitous presence in numerous consumer products.
But even plastic-containing products claiming to be BPA-free can still leach chemicals with estrogenic activity (EA), according to a new study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives Journal. The leaching can get worse during regular types of use, such as microwaving or dishwashing.
Researchers at Georgetown University, PlastiPure, a Texas-based plastic maker, and CertiChem, a chemical testing firm, purchased 455 plastic products from stores such as Whole Foods, Walmart and Trader Joe’s made to contain food, including baby bottles, water bottles, bags and deli containers. The resin type varied, but nearly all tested positive for the leaching of chemicals with detectable levels of EA.
Studies suggest exposure to EA can change the structure of many types of human cells, raising concern about adverse impacts on infants and children, including birth defects and behavioral disorders.
However, researchers contend EA-free plastic can be commercially produced at a cost in line with conventional plastic.
“Many scientists believe that it is not appropriate to bet our health and that of future generations on an assumption that known cellular effects of chemicals having EA released from most plastics will have no severe adverse health effects,” researchers wrote. “Since we can identify existing, relatively-inexpensive monomers and additives that do not exhibit estrogenic activity, even when stressed, we believe that plastics having comparable physical properties but that do not release chemicals having detectable EA could be produced at minimal additional cost.”
Author: GreenBiz Staff
Source: www.greenbiz.com – Published March 03, 2011