Monday, April 17, 2006

The Dangers of Nalgene Bottles and Food Cans

Hazards of Hydration by Frances Cerra Whittelsey, Sierra magazine, November 2003.

A Suspect Chemical in Plastic Bottles and Cans by Catherine Zandonella, The Green Guide, May 2006.

Our Stolen Future by Dr. Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and Dr. John Peterson Myers, 2005.

An Extensive New Literature Concerning Low-Dose Effects of Bisphenol A Shows the Need for a New Risk Assessment by Frederick S. vom Saal and Claude Hughes, Environmental Health Perspectives, August 2005.

8 Ways to Avoid Harmful Chemicals in Plastics and Cans

1. If you already own polycarbonate bottles, including the Nalgene bottles popular on college campuses, labeled #7 on the bottom, wash them by hand with mild dishwashing soap, not in the dishwasher, to avoid degrading the plastic and increasing leaching of BPA (see "Picnic Perfect Plastics").

2. Even plastic does not last forever. Look for cracks or cloudiness on your reusable clear plastic bottles. See The Green Guide's survey, "A Nalgene Bottle Poll."

3. Use glass baby bottles or plastic bag inserts, which are made of polyethyelene, or switch to polypropylene bottles that are labeled #5 and come in colors or are milky rather than clear.

4. Choose soups, milk and soy milk packaged in cardboard "brick" cartons, by Tetra Pak and SIG Combibloc, which are made of safer layers of aluminum and polyethylene (#2) and also recyclable.

5. Choose canned foods from makers who don't use BPA, such as Eden Foods (, which sells certified organic canned beans and other foods.

6. Eat fresh foods in season and save the canned foods for convenience or emergencies. The exception is some canned fruit such as that found in smaller fruit-cocktail cans, which do not require a liner, according to the Can Manufacturers Institute.

7. Buy or can your own fruits and vegetables in safe glass jars. For more, see Amy's Green Kitchen "In a Summer Pickle".

8. Some wines have been found to contain up to six times the BPA of canned foods. While most wines probably don't, it's another good reason to drink in moderation.

© Copyright 2006 The Green Guide Institute.


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