Drink Your Water In Glass, Not Plastic
Plastic polycarbonate bottles such as Nalgene are still popular as drinking water bottles. However polycarbonate releases a chemical known as bisphenol A also know as BPA. Whereas plastic industry safety studies find no significant health effects from typical daily doses of bisphenol A, a full 90% of government studies found harmful health effects  especially to children and expecting moms,  but also for male reproductiveity and reproduction as well. 
The problem is that bisphenol A acts as a "xenoestrogen," which just means it's like the female hormone estrogen, except for two things: 1) it's foreign to the body, which is what "xeno" means, and 2) it is way more harmful than our natural estrogen for everyone, male and female. Breast cancers are much more of a risk in women who carry a high burden of xenoestrogens, and both men and women are subject to a huge range of other harmful health effects. The most far-reaching effects are birth defects and miscarriages. Another effect is a disruption of beta cell function in the pancreas, which creates a pre-diabetes type condition of high blood insulin and insulin resistance.
We have previously warned our readers never to leave a plastic water bottle on a hot car seat, because the phthalates used in the manufacture of plastics leach into the water that you then drink. Phthalates are another xenoestrogen. However, with the polycarbonate bottles it has been found that even at room temperature, bisphenol A leaches into the water, and more so with increased temperature. Also with repeated use of plastics, you may notice the fine line scratches that you see on an old plastic container. These increase the surface area exposed to the liquid inside and release more of the xenoestrogens into the water.
The Glass Bottle Solution
Sure, glass can break. But if you're careful with it, that's not a problem. And considering all the problematic substances in plastics, the break ability of glass does not seem like such a tragedy. I send my 5 year-old son, a very active little boy, to school with a glass water bottle, and he doesn't break it. Okay, once he broke one. But the replacement cost was cheap: Only $1.69. I get our glass bottles from the health food store. Ice tea is usually sold in glass bottles. The Tazo brand of teas has a 13.8 oz. bottle that is fairly thick glass and short enough to refill conveniently, with a wide enough spout to allow in some small ice cubes or slice of lemon. Once you get used to carrying it, it is just as easy as Nalgene, and its small size fits better in a purse or briefcase.
1. Vom Saal F, Hughes C. An extensive new literature concerning low-dose effects of bisphenol A shows the need for a new risk assessment. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2003:111. pp. 926-933.
2. Hunt P, Koehler K et al. Bisphenol A cause meiotic aneuploidy in the female mouse. Current Biology. 13: pp. 546-553
3. Akingbemi B, Sottas C, et al. Inhibition of testicular steroidogenesis by the xenoestrogen bisphenol A is associated with reduced pituitary luteinizing hormone secretion and decreased steroidogenic enzyme gene expression in rat Leydig cells. Endocrinology 145. pp. 592-603.
Comments By Dr. Meeker
University of Michigan School of Public Health, researcher Dr. JD Meeker published in the October 2012, Archive of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine revealing;
"A growing body of evidence shows that exposure to a number of endocrine disrupting chemicals, commonly found in consumer goods, personal care products, food, drinking water, and other sources may adversely affect child development through altered endocrine function."
Adverse effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), on child development include:
- Fetal growth
- Early reproductive tract development
- Pubertal development
Historical trends show increased rates of endocrine-related diseases and disorders among children. PMID: 23367522
Dr. Colleen Huber is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor and Primary Care Physician currently practicing in Tempe, Arizona. Dr. Huber focuses on herbal medicine, nutrition, intravenous therapies, environmental medicine and acupuncture.
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