BPA-Free Plastics Leach Hormone-Like Chemicals

More than 70% of tested plastics released chemicals: study
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2011 3:38 AM CST
BPA-free glass baby bottles are seen on display in the foreground as a mother shops at Babies R Us.   (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)
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(Newser) – More bad health news on the plastics front. Even BPA-free plastic products can leach a chemical that acts like the sex hormone estrogen, according to new research. The researchers bought hundreds of plastic products from stores like Wal-Mart and Whole Foods, focusing on products that come in contact with food, and found that more than 70% released chemicals that acted like the hormone when soaked in saltwater or alcohol, NPR reports.

The study couldn't pinpoint specifically which chemicals out of the ones that the products released were to blame for the hormone-like effects. Skeptics wondered about the test's reliability and noted that the study author has a financial interest in a company involved in making plastic products that don't release estrogenic chemicals. An analyst at the Environmental Working Group, however, warned that worried consumers should avoid putting plastic products like baby bottles in dishwashers or microwaves. (Of course, BPA is no big deal, says one lawmaker...)

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