Hot liquid causes a potentially harmful chemical to leach out of certain plastics much faster than usual, researchers have found. The study, published in Toxicology Letters, discovered that bisphenol A, or BPA, was released from some common plastic bottles 55 times faster when they were placed in boiling water. Concerns about BPA, a hormone "disrupter," have been growing, particularly for containers used by babies and young children.
Animal tests have shown that BPA can affect reproductive and brain development. Its effects on humans have not been conclusively studied, and the amounts released by plastics are tiny, but some experts warn it would be safer to make things like baby bottles out of another material. "Newborn babies are at a very sensitive stage of their development, and the last thing you want to be doing is dosing them with a very potent hormone disruptor," said one. (Read more plastic stories.)