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Harvard study links BPA levels to drinking from polycarbonate bottles

If you’re still drinking out of your old #7 polycarbonate water bottle, read the results of a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health before your next fill-up. The study is the first to directly show that drinking from polycarbonate bottles raises BPA levels in urine.

Participants (77 Harvard students) first spent a week drinking only cold beverages from stainless steel bottles, which are BPA-free, as part of a “washout” phase to minimize BPA exposure. They used 27-ounce Kleen Kanteens by the way.

The following week, participants drank only cold beverages from new polycarbonate bottles (32-ounce Lexan Nalgenes). After one week of polycarbonate use, the concentration of BPA in participants' urine increased 69 percent.

According to the Harvard press release, exposure to BPA has been shown to interfere with reproductive development in animals and has been linked with cardiovascular disease and diabetes in humans.

It’s important to note that participants didn’t drink hot beverages from their bottles, wash them in dishwashers, or use old ones. BPA levels could have been "considerably higher" if the bottles had been heated.

"This study is coming at an important time because many states are deciding whether to ban the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups" said researcher Jenny Carwile. "While previous studies have demonstrated that BPA is linked to adverse health effects, this study fills in a missing piece of the puzzle—whether or not polycarbonate plastic bottles are an important contributor to the amount of BPA in the body."

Read the full study on the website of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives (pdf).

via Treehugger


am i too assume that if a bottle is labeled BPA free, then even if it's a nalgene, it's ok?

Yes, well, presumably as safe as anything else out there.

It's important to note that Nalgene makes plastic and metal water bottles from a variety of materials, besides the polycarbonate ones they've since phased out (though you can still buy them at some stores).

Nalgene, and lots of other manufacturers, now use Tritan by Eastman for their hard plastic bottles. It's also a #7 for recycling, but #7 covers lots of different materials, not just polycarbonates w/BPA.

Made with Tritan from Eastman
Extremely durable
Resistant to staining
Resistant to retaining odors
Recommended for "extreme" adventures
Dishwasher Safe - Please make sure the cap does not touch the heating element
Withstands temperatures from -40ºF to 212ºF
This bottle is made from Eastman Tritan copolyester that is manufactured without Bisphenol A (BPA)
This bottle has a recycling code of #7, which means other. It does not contain BPA
Made in USA

Hmmm, that's interesting -

This bottle has a recycling code of #7, which means other.

"Other" could include any one of a few thousand chemicals.

Yes, #7 is a catchall for everything that doesn't fall into numbers 1-6, or that uses more than one type of plastic, including 1-6.

All plastics that do not already fall into categories 1 through 6 must be designated with the “other” marking, which is #7. These categories are required by law in 39 states on certain types of containers. #7 is often the container of choice for reusable plastic water and baby bottles. In addition, any container made from multi-layered or mixed materials – even when the layers are made from #1 through #6 materials – must also be marked with the #7 for “multi-layered materials.”


Also, check out the following, for info on all numbers:

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