On today's Out There cover we noted the recent move by a Canadian gear co-op - like an REI - to stop selling certain plastic bottles because customers were concerned about the possible toxicity of a chemical, bisphenol A.
Gazette reporter Melissa Cassutt reported on similar concerns around here among some parents who fear their babies will consume the chemical after it leaches into liquids in their bottles.
There doesn't seem to be much research yet. One study that kicked off recent news stories can be found here.
(Once you're there, look on the right side of the page and click on “Reports.” Scroll down and click on “Toxic Baby Bottles.”)
Bisphenol A has been linked to reproductive problems and cancer in lab mice, according to the study.
“I think that some of the things (Environment California) say are based somewhat on their political views,” David Weiss, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, who reviewed the report and other studies on the topic, told The Gazette. He said the concentrations of the chemical are so low that they are below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “levels of concern.”
Wondering whether the bottle you're using could contain bisphenol A? If the plastic is stamped with a “PC,” it is polycarbonate plastic; if the plastic is stamped with a recycling sign and a “7,” it probably is polycarbonate. Bisphenol A is used in polycarbonate.
Yes, my Nalgene bottle is stamped with a recycling sign and a 7. Just call me a lab rat.