Big, Bad BPA Bottles

Scientists criticize FDA ruling approving potentially toxic chemical used in bottles
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Scientists criticize FDA ruling approving potentially toxic chemical used in bottles

Remember all those trusty Nalgenes you threw away because of worries about bisphenol-A, a potentially toxic chemical that can leach into your drink? The FDA recently ruled that bisphenol-a (BPA) didn't have any negative effects, but don't go fishing in the landfill just yet: An independent panel of scientific advisers have concluded that the FDA's ruling of BPA as safe is "badly flawed."

"The margins of safety defined by FDA as 'adequate' are, in fact, inadequate," said the report, a copy of which was provided to The Associated Press. The advisers found that the FDA had not considered all available, credible scientific evidence, and urged the agency to essentially go back to the lab.

The FDA's approach "creates a false sense of security" and "overlooks a range of potentially serious findings," the report said.

The scientific advisers also cautioned that the FDA overestimated the product's margin of safety by "a factor of 10." Still, observers don't expect the FDA to reconsider or move quickly with a retest of BPA. BPA is said to mimic the hormone estrogen, and can be absorbed by the kidneys of babies. Other studies link it to heart problems in adults.

So it's up to you: If you prefer your post-hike water without the refreshing, possibly poisonous tang of BPA, make sure to avoid anything with the recycling number 7 imprinted on it. Luckily, most brands, including Nalgene, have already eliminated BPA from their products.

If you're like me, though, you've already got so much manly testosterone that a shot of artificial estrogen now and then couldn't hurt. Winning all those arm-wrestling contests gets exhausting.

—Ted Alvarez

FDA's conclusion that chemical is safe is flawed (AP)

Thanks to TEG