Crunchy concerns: Am I drinking a bottle full of bisphenol A?
May 6, 2008 —
Back in 1991, while most of the world was still reeling from the collapse of Communism and the Berlin Wall, I was deeply involved in the process of trying to become cool.
My big sister was at the University of Vermont, and when she came home with a water bottle strapped to her backpack, a Nalgene, with a roll of duct tape wrapped around the outside, I knew I had found a key component of my plan to become cool. The bottle signified everything crunchy (which was cool to me back then), and everything perfect to go along with my Cat Stevens, my Picture of Nectar, my bass guitar and my hemp-rope bracelet.
My efforts to become cool have long since waned (and, some would point out, disappeared completely), but one thing has stuck around: that Nalgene bottle.
I don’t wrap duct tape around the outside of the bottle anymore, but like many people in this country, I keep a few Nalgene bottles around. They’re durable, re-usable (and therefore vaguely environmental), and easy to clean.
They also contain a kind of plastic known as bisphenol A, or BPA, which is quickly gaining a bad reputation.
This chemical is also found in baby bottles – something which may come as worrisome to parents, especially when they learn that laboratory mice have been adversely effected by heightened levels of BPA.
Reports are circulating throughout the press. The Rocky Mountain News, for example, released an in-depth report on the issue today, citing the work of Dr. Wade Welshon. Welshon told the Rocky that BPA has caused problems such as, “Increased body weight, early puberty, and increases in hormone-dependent cancers.”
The American Chemistry Council disagrees, pointing to the chemical’s safe track record over the past 50 years.
As for me – no need to wait for that study to come out. Why take the risk? From here on out its non-BPA bottles only – which is why I’m glad to hear that Nalgene is switching over to a new product of equal quality over the next few months.
By this summer, I’ll be able to fill up my Nalgene with cold creek water, drink it up, and be cool again.
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