Plastic Water bottles and estrogen


Oct 18, 2006
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Props to Dudeski for bringing this info. to attention earlier in a different sherdog subforum, but I'm going to post it here since I thought D&S's would find it interesting:

I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with the general problems of reusing plastic water bottles.

They've been addressed in D & S before:

But here's something you might not know:

According to several recent studies, polycarbonate plastic readily leaches a chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA) into foods and liquids that are stored in containers made from it. BPA has been identified as an endocrine disrupting chemical, or a chemical that easily mimics hormones when absorbed by the human body. In the case of BPA, the hormone being mimicked is estrogen.


Some additional elaboration on the subject:

What happens when this plastic does get into your body? ... This type of plastic stays in the body. It is quite active. It disrupts hormones by fooling the body to recognize it as the hormone estrogen. This form of estrogen does not have the same effect as a biological form. It is more likely to result in harmful effects. This means that for women, it may increase their risk of breast cancer. In men, it can lower sperm count and contribute to infertility. An exogenous estrogen, as this is called, does not break down after time, as the natural estrogens to.


And the kicker is that this warning applies to Nalgene bottles (or any hard plastic, reuseable water bottles made with BPA).

And it gets worse:

The chemical can leach from the plastic, especially when the containers are heated, cleaned with harsh detergents or exposed to acidic foods or drinks.


And I thought I was in the clear as far as reusable water bottle issues go because I use a Nalgene bottle, wash it often with hot soapy water, and periodically sanitizing it with diluted bleach. Turns out I may have been making things worse.

And while there are conflicting findings with respect to BPA, plastic water bottles, and adverse effects on humans, some researchers point out the following:

In the last 7 years (through to December 2004), 115 relevant studies have been published. None of the 11 funded by industry reported adverse effects at low level, whereas 94 of 104 government-funded studies found effects. These many studies were conducted in academic laboratories in Japan, the US and Europe.

More reading:

I've heard that stainless steel or glass water bottles are good alternative, but apparently not all plastic bottles are bad:

An alternative is available in the polyethylene versions of these products (made out of HDPE, Nalgene's traditional material), which are free of these chemicals. They can be identified by their greater flexibility, their translucent, "milky" appearance, and by the number 2 triangular plastic recycling symbol on the bottom, rather than the number 7 on a polycarbonate bottle.
This is old but bad news :) Basically: the world works slowly and bpa is still found all over the place. But given enough time, it will probably be illegal/gone from most places. Companies like selling cheap stuff for as long as possible though, so they keep the process of change as slow as possible.

Independent studies are slowly coming out about how bad BPA is.

Here is the latest from Consumer Reports this month, it is conservative and not complete information, but it is trustworthy.

Polycarbonate baby bottles give babies 50x more bpa daily than is already known to be harmful. They are still the vast majority of baby bottles sold in stores. This is changing and will hopefully accelerate.

From other sources I know to keep your babies and wives away from BPA so the baby doesn't get bombarded with it. For us older people, the damage has for the most part already been done. All of our bodies are already filled with bpa, and our balls are probably already shrunken!
How about disposable water bottles? Like deer park or whatever. This is really interesting.

Also, this kind of sucks. Especially with what I've noticed to be a migration toward polycarbonate water bottles (for obvious reasons, that shit is indestructable) Apparently, polycarbonate is one of the worst culprits...
Oh great :mad:

The plastic bottle I've used everyday for 2 years to drink water has a '7' on the bottom. Who do I sue?
From Consumer Reports;
The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce is looking into the safety of infant formula cans lined with products containing BPA and is examining whether the proponents of BPA have paid consulting groups to engineer science that reaches predetermined conclusions. A 2006 review published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research showed that of 119 government-funded studies conducted as of July 2005, 109 found harmful effects from low-dose exposure in animals. By contrast, 11 industry-funded studies said that BPA causes no harm.
Just be sure to check which type of plastic bottles you're using. I was worried for a minute, but turns out everything I've got is #1 plastic, or polyethylene. Totally safe. For those interested, that includes poland spring, powerade, and vitamin water, judging from what I have lying around.
Yep, another instance of something seemingly benign slowly poisoning us for years. I've heard you cheapos out there shouldn't be reusing plastic utensils either. I got myself a stainless steel water bottle the other day and it's pretty nice. I'd been using a Nalgene one for years and it definitely started smelling and tasting a bit plasticky.
I know they mentioned when plastic bottles were heated but I remember reading something about the harmful effects of putting plastic water bottles in the freezer? Anyone remember anything bout that?
Stick to number #2, 4 and 5 plastic for drink bottles those are non leaching.

Stainless steel bottles suck they make water taste like meetal and the meetal leaching is probably just as bad for you.
Problem with Aluminum bottles is that the coating tends to allow toxins to get in and acidic liquids can sometimes crack the lining.

Stick to either Stainless Steel water bottles or Glass bottles. I was a Nalgene user for like 3 years...but I'm probably going to buy a stainless steel bottle..

It's better then drinking water that taste like plastic. Also, even if your plastic bottle is labeled #2 or #4 theres still a minor chance where bacteria/chemical can seep through..

i was wondering where these boobies came from
Good to know.

*throws plastic water bottle away*
I've kept my eye on this issue since it first popped up; I have to admit, I was dubious at first. I've completely retracted my opinion as of late.