The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in a recent study that about 93 percent of the US population has bisphenol A in their body. Bisphenol A is a chemical found in canned goods and in hard, clear plastic items such as Lexan baby bottles and Nalgene hiking containers.
Low levels of bisphenol A fed to mice in early development became severely more obese as adults than those mice in the control group. This study was conducted at the University of Missouri-Columbia and was verified by Tufts University. The levels are well below the equivilent levels already found in humans.
Bruce Blumberg,University of California, Irvine, has coined a new word for chemicals that can make you fat: Obesogens.
A number of studies have previously suggested that polycarbonate plastics such as the ones used by Nalgene may leach endocrine disruptors.
Endocrine disrupters mimic natural hormones that help regulate, for example, how many fat cells a body makes and how much fat to store in them. Eendocrine disrupters have already been linked to reproductive problems in animals and humans.
Other research has found that fixatives in polycarbonate plastics can cause chromosomal error in cell division called aneuploidy.
Nalgene denies that the quantity of chemicals leached from their products poses a significant threat to health when used within the designed temperature range.
For those who are concerned about this issue, look for alternative products which are free of these chemicals. They can be identified by their greater flexibility, their translucent, "milky" appearance, and by the number 2 triangular plastic recycling symbol on the bottom, rather than the number 7 on a polycarbonate bottle.
from the Boston Globe, "Is plastic making us fat?", by Beth Daley, Jan 14, 2008
and from Wikipedia, "Nalgene",
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