The harmful effects of prolonged use of plastic bottles is a piece of information that has been doing the rounds for sometime.A new study has found evidence about the release of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA),used to make plastics,into the containers. This chemical has also been known to cause diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) found that participants who drank for a week from polycarbonate bottles showed a two-thirds increase in their urine of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA).
This is the first time that any study has shown that drinking from polycarbonate bottles increases the level of urinary BPA, and that drinking containers made with BPA release the chemical into the liquid that people drink in sufficient amounts.
"We found that drinking cold liquids from polycarbonate bottles for just one week increased urinary BPA levels by more than two-thirds. If you heat those bottles, as is the case with baby bottles, we would expect the levels to be considerably higher. This would be of concern since infants may be particularly susceptible to BPA's endocrine-disrupting potential," said senior study author Karin B. Michels, associate professor of epidemiology at HSPH and Harvard Medical School.
First author Jenny Carwile, a doctoral student in the department of epidemiology at HSPH, added: "This study is coming at an important time because many states are deciding whether to ban the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups. While previous studies have demonstrated that BPA is linked to adverse health effects, this study fills in a missing piece of the puzzle-whether or not polycarbonate plastic bottles are an important contributor to the amount of BPA in the body."
The study has been published on the website of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.