Well, let’s start with what BPA stands for, shall we? People have shunned Bisphenol A (BPA) for the last 20 years or so. It kind of seems like “BPA-free water bottles” have always been a thing. I can’t remember the last time I went to purchase a new water bottle, and didn’t see BPA-free options. Can you? People carry reusable water bottles to lessen plastic waste and avoid BPA chemicals, but if you ask, many folks will not be able to tell you why they need to avoid BPA. Below is a brief summary of BPA’s long history that may shock you.
What is BPA?
Scientists invented BPA in 1891, and pharmaceutical companies started using it as a hormone supplement until they discovered an even stronger artificial hormone, DES. During the 1940s and '50s, manufacturers started using BPA to create hard plastics, and in 1976, the government grandfathered in BPA and about 62,000 other untested chemicals to their list of safe industrial chemicals.
What is BPA used for?
Companies used BPA in many ways, such as sippy cups and linings for canned foods. It wasn’t until the late 2000s that the scientific community shouted loud enough about BPA’s low-dose toxicity for the general public to hear them. People raided the shelves looking for BPA-free water bottles and baby bottles. Between that time of our burgeoning awareness and now, researchers conducted more studies and experiments that also show low levels of BPA exposure effecting breast and prostate development, sometimes even bringing on early puberty. If you’re shocked by how old the BPA debate is, you should read this expansive timeline of BPA’s history!
Why Should You Choose a BPA-Free Water Bottle?
Sadly, most of us have BPA in our systems. I mentioned it above, but researchers have linked BPA with prostate and breast development issues, as well as early onset puberty. So perhaps the people saying that kids are maturing faster physically than “back in their day” have some merit. Considering pharmaceutical companies sold BPA as an artificial hormone, it isn’t a surprise that there is concern about its effects on hormone levels. Scientists also have conducted experiments linking BPA to breast and prostate cancer.
How Do You Choose the Best BPA-free Water Bottle?
Maybe eliminating plastic altogether and opting for glass bottles is the way to go? But carrying a glass bottle is not always possible. For example, it is not practical to hold a glass bottle while running.
You want to pick a bottle that suits your favorite activities. If you enjoy running or walking, then you may benefit from a slender bottle suitable for hand carrying. Or if you like hiking, then an insulated bottle would probably appeal to you. Other features, like wide mouth or straw, are decisions you’ll want to make based on your preferences. Plastic is not necessarily all bad, just make sure "BPA-free" is at the top of your list. Then match the bottle to your preferences.
Do you have a water bottle that you think is just amazing? Comment about it below! Share this post and see if you can start the great water bottle debate of 2020!