It's tough being a TreeHugger reader; one week we tell you to give up bottled water and carry your own bottle; now we suggest that you to ditch your polycarbonate Nalgene. Warren discussed the possibility of leaching of Bisphenol A (BPA) from polycarbonate or Lexan bottles before; Nalgene and others say that there is no evidence that the gender bender estrogen-like chemical was leaching out and if it did, it quickly metabolized into another, harmless form.
Now, Martin Mittelstaedt of the Globe and Mail reports that a new study says it ain't so; the researchers agree that people break down some of the BPA but that "virtually everybody" in the developed world now has chronic, low level but measurable levels of the real thing, levels equivalent to other natural hormones. The study's lead author is Frederick vom Saal, a biologist at the University of Missouri and one of the world's leading authorities on bisphenol A, (and a leading critic) but it was also signed by 37 other top experts on the chemical.
Effects on men from genderbenders include enlarged breasts and reduced sperm counts. In women, earlier puberty and possible link to breast cancer. ::Globe and Mail
The plastics industry dismisses Vom Saal, but another study supports this research:
those big water cooler jugs are polycarbonates too
The Telegraph reports a study that suggests that:
Pregnant women who consume a chemical found in everyday plastic products such as food containers and water bottles could be putting their unborn children at risk of developing cancer and other diseases when they reach adulthood.
Exposure within the womb to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in the production of plastics, caused changes linked with diseases such as obesity, cancer and diabetes, according to studies by a team from Duke University Medical Centre, North Carolina.
Testing on mice, they found that when mouse moms were fed BPA just over half were born with yellow coats, an indicator for cancer.
"The fact that the mice fed BPA had a yellow coat and likely would grow to be obese as adults demonstrates that this single substance had a system-wide effect," said Dr Dana Dolinoy, one of the team. ::Telegraph
Two studies on one day. Time to ditch the Nalgene.