Even BPA-Free Sippy Cups May Not Be Safe
Is the BPA-free sippy cup you give to your child safe? Maybe not.
BPA (Bisphenol A) is a chemical added to plastics. It has been in use since the 1950s and can be found in plastic cups, plates, baby bottles, and other products. I
BPA is also used as a resin to coat the inside of beverage containers such as soda cans. It is almost impossible to escape the use of this chemical in many products we use every day.
Studies have shown that BPA is an endocrine disruptor. This means it can mimic estrogen in the human body. There are a host of different medical conditions that are linked to BPA exposure.
Exposure to BPA can cause birth defects. It can also affect the hormonal development of children.
Studies have shown that extensive exposure to BPA can cause young girls to prematurely enter puberty. It can interfere with the development of boys. It can reduce sperm count in males. It can also contribute to obesity.
Extensive ingestion of BPA can also cause or contribute to neurological issues, cancer, thyroid disease, and non-cancerous brain tumors.
BPA-free products are not guaranteed to be safer
Many baby products, including bottles, sippy cups, containers and more are marketed as “BPA-free." They are touted as a safer alternative to products containing BPA.
However, recent studies have shown that even BPA-free products may still be dangerous.
George Bittner, a professor of neurobiology at the University of Texas-Austin, issued a paper in the NIH journal Environmental Health Perspectives that detailed his findings.
According to his research, BPA-free products still can release synthetic estrogens. Even products that were BPA-free still leached chemicals.
More worrying was that the products that were BPA-free leached chemicals that were even more potent than BPA. They leached chemicals that could have an even more profound estrogen effect on the body.
The plastics industry has challenged Bittner’s findings and even took him to court in 2013, where a jury found in favor of the plastics industry (for now). The war is far from over, and this is beginning to look like the same fight between consumer advocates and Big Tobacco that was waged for years.
Alternatives to BPA-free sippy cups
No matter what, research safer alternatives to plastic containers to protect yourself and your children.
Most glass is non-reactive. However, glass is breakable and fragile. It is not ideal for all baby products but can be used for certain products, like bottles.
According to the study, safer products would be polymers and materials that are EA-free. This means they are free of "estrogenic affect." There are ways to manufacture these plastic products that do not leach hazardous chemicals.
Research products before you buy them to see if they have been tested for BPA or other EA-chemicals.
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