Plastic Bottles — Balance Safety and Convenience

Headlines about health hazards of bisphenol A (BPA) in plastic bottles may have you worried about your family's safety. If you drink bottled water or send it to school with the kids, you probably shouldn't fear. However, if you have children small enough to use baby bottles or sippy cups, make sure that they're drinking from safe containers.

As you look around your house or the supermarket, here's a rundown on some common plastic products:

  • Water bottles. These flexible bottles contain a chemical known as PET (polyethylene terephthalate; recycling No. 1) that only leaches out if the bottle is heated, say, like in a hot car. Wash out those bottles before reusing them to prevent bacterial contamination, and caution the kids not to refill them on their own. Only refill washed bottles a few times. The danger of chemicals leaching into the water increases with continued refills. For a similar reason, if you buy a permanent reusable water bottle, opt for aluminum instead of plastic.

  • Baby bottles. Before 2008, baby bottles and sippy cups widely contained BPA. Now many manufacturers have reformulated their products to eliminate BPA. If you want to be sure you're avoiding all chemicals, use glass bottles.

  • Food containers. The can containing your beans or tomatoes has an epoxy lining to keep vegetables sealed and prevent a tinny taste. That epoxy is made with BPA. If you cook just for adults, you probably don't need to worry. But if you're cooking for small children, pay attention to packages on the supermarket shelf. Look for vegetables in glass or cardboard containers when you can't use fresh produce.

If you take reasonable precautions with containers, you can keep your family healthy and safe. For more info, check out our Green Living Center. You can also stop by any of our branch locations, call us at (617) 495-4460 or email us for more information.


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