Archive for June 2011

Top 10 Ways to Avoid BPA

Top 10 Ways to Avoid BPA

We’ve posted about the harms of BPA (Bisphenol-A) here, here and here. The estrogen-mimicking chemical has been banned in bottles in Europe, Canada and China while remaining legal here in the U.S. Until the laws change or businesses figure out BPA-free is competitive advantage, we’ve put together a list of 10 ways you can avoid BPA and cut down on your exposure.

  1. Cut down on the plastic in your food and beverage choices and choose glass, ceramic or metal (non-coated) whenever possible.
  2. For your next cookout, use paper-based plates instead of plastic or plastic-coated plates.
  3. Buy your milk in a cardboard carton instead of a plastic gallon.
  4. Choose fresh or frozen foods (in cardboard box, not the plastic steam-in-a-bag variety) over canned foods. This past winter, Consumer Reports found alarming levels of BPA in the lining of most canned foods in our grocery stores.
  5. Choose glass instead of plastic for storing leftover foods.
  6. Avoid microwave-ready, plastic wrapped foods. Instead choose a make-ahead meal and store it in portable glass container that can go from the fridge to the microwave.
  7. If you see a number “7” on our plastic products, it more than likely contains BPA; send it to the recycling bin.
  8. If you have a baby and you’re using formula, choose powder over pre-made. You’ll save money and avoid the bottles for pre-made which contain BPA.
  9. If you do have plastics, always hand wash even when it says “dishwasher safe.” The heat from the dishwasher can break down the plastic making it easier to leach chemicals into your food or beverage and therefore into you.
  10. And for your daily water, choose a reusable glass water bottle over plastic water bottles.

 What tips would you add?

Of Mice and Men: How BPA Makes Men Less Attractive

Today, the news was released from a very interesting study from researchers at University of Missouri – turns out the BPA (bisphenol-A), found in plastics, can make men less attractive to women. While the researchers tested the theory on male deer mice, we humans can learn quite a bit from their reactions.

The unversity study found that male deer mice exposed to BPA through their mother’s diet exhibited compromised spatial learning abilities, a dominant trait exhibited in males. So these BPA-exposed males had a harder time finding females in the laboratory. To quote the researchers:

The disruption of male spatial cognition and the supporting brain systems would severely compromise the ability of the male deer mice to find mates in natural settings, and even if they did locate females, such animals would seem to be less likely to be chosen as mates than males that had not been exposed to BPA.

And, perhaps most disturbingly, both BPA-exposed and control females preferred the clean males to BPA-exposed males. BPA-exposed males were rejected 2 to 1 by the females in the study. In very simple language, BPA makes male deer mice less attractive to the female deer mice.

We’ve seen BPA and plastics linked with breast cancer, infertility and early puberty in females. Now we’re seeing it affect men’s brains and our attractiveness as well.

Even noted author John Steinbeck couldn’t have imagined this link between mice and men.

Video: Breast Cancer and the Link to Plastics

Once again, the links between plastics and our health are making headlines. In a recent article in Slate magazine shared:

Recent studies show that some pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and plastic additives appear to change when and how the mammary gland develops. Even low doses, close to what average Americans are exposed to currently, have been linked to altered development, cell growth, and gene expression in animal mammary glands. The chemicals include the notorious baby-bottle chemical bisphenol A, dioxin (a by-product from burning plastic and a common food contaminant), phthalates (plastic additives), atrazine (a top-selling herbicide in the United States, now banned in Europe), flame retardants, and stain repellants. PFOA, a common chemical used to make Teflon, appears to delay puberty in animal pups and reduce the size of the mammary gland, while chemicals that mimic estrogen may accelerate puberty.

Just reading that one paragraph, reminded of this great TED talk from Jeanne Rizzo, the CEO of Breast Cancer Fund:

What do you think?

BottlesUp Joins Green Chamber of the South

Member, Green Chamber of the South Our award-winning reusable glass water bottles enjoy descriptions such as the “clean side of green” and “art you can use.” As a company, we’re dedicated to building a company that’s good for your health, our planet all while creating a sustainable and successful company. This week, we joined the Green Chamber of the South, a nonprofit dedicated to the growth and success of sustainable business in the Southeast.

The Green Chamber of the South offers us the opportunity to connect with other like-minded businesses dedicated to building sustainable businesses in and around the Southeast. Founded in 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia, the organization supports the growth and success of sustainable business and encourages innovation and adoption of clean technology. It’s a non-profit organization working to make the Southeast the center of sustainable business in the United States.

So how do we fit in this group? From the very beginning, our every effort – from design, to sourcing, to production, to packaging – has been focused on creating the lowest carbon footprint possible. The result? Our sturdy 22-ounce glass water bottle is 100% sourced in North America and has the lowest carbon footprint in the industry. Each bottle is created from recycled glass (up to 75% recycled and sourced on-site) using ancient techniques in a modern glass-making facility in Mexico. The bottles are enhanced by food-grade silicone caps and grippers made in Maine. BottlesUp’s bottles are free of known toxins including Bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), and polycarbonates that research has shown can compromise human health. There is zero plastic in the product or packaging. It takes more time to do it right, but we’re committed to living, breathing, and building a truly green company.

We hope to learn, and to inspire, our fellow Green Chamber members for the betterment of health, environment and business. And if you’re a part of a company in the Southeast, considering joining the Green Chamber or even taking one small step to make your business greener – your employees, customers and business will benefit.