Just when you thought it was safe to buy BPA-free sippy cups and bottles, along comes a study that says the alternative could be just as bad—or worse.
After Michael Green, executive director for the Center for Environmental Health and a father, suspected that BPA-free plastic sippy cups were still at risk for leaking synthetic estrogens from other harmful ingredients, he decided to find out more.
After all, Green has a young daughter who, at the time, preferred her plastic sippy cups to the stainless steel ones her father offered, according to an article in Mother Jones.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a plastic additive that mimics the hormone estrogen and has been linked to health problems such as cancer and infertility. While a U.S. Food and Drug Administration study says that BPA has no effect in small doses, many companies have banned BPA from kid-friendly items such as sippy cups and bottles. It has been replaced, however, with ingredients that "may be leaching just as much synthetic estrogen," writes UPI.
That's why Green shipped 18 different BPA-free sippy cups, including his daughter's, to a lab in Austin, Texas, which found that more than a quarter of them, including his daughter's, "came back positive for estrogenic activity," according to Mother Jones.
George Bittner, the founder that lab, CertiChem, co-authored a paper in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives in 2011, saying, "'almost all' commercially available plastics that were tested leached synthetic estrogens—even when they weren't exposed to conditions known to unlock potentially harmful chemicals, such as the heat of a microwave, the steam of a dishwasher, or the sun's ultraviolet rays," Mother Jones reports.
One ingredient that has come under scrutiny is Tritan, whose main ingredient is triphenyl phosphate, or TPP. One study, according to the site, suggested that this new BPA replacement ingredient was more "estrogenic than BPA."
Looks like we might be looking into more stainless steel sippy cups and glass bottles.