What’s This About Tritan, the new ‘BPA-Free” Plastic?

This week we learned that Tritan, the new plastic being used in commercial products, including the new bins Whole Foods is renovating their stores with, is more estrogenic than BPA (Bisphenol-A), the plastic we have been trying to avoid. Now, we learn that Tritan, produced by Eastman Chemicals, is not being regulated by the EPA due to slick maneuvering reminiscent of the Tobacco industry’s saga which claimed that tobacco smoke was not a health hazard.

Mariah Blake‘s piece in the March/April issue of Mother Jones, “The Scarey New Evidence on BPA-free Plastics: And the Big Tobacco-style campaign to bury it,” sounds an alarm for us. We learn that the BPA-free Nalgene, Camelback, Evenflo, Tupperware, Rubbermaid, and Cuisinart products we thought were safe, all contain Tritan, without warning labels for us.

Plastic water bottles have also been found to be estrogenic, with increasing amounts of the chemicals released into water when exposed to UV waves, left in the car, sitting on grocery shelves, or run through the dishwasher. There is a long list of estrogenic health problems, including brain and organ development in utero, cancer, diabetes, obesity, problems with bone growth, ovulation, heart function, and more.

When George Bittner, professor of neurobiology at U Texas-Austin released a research paper he coauthored in the NIH (National Institutes of Health) journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, stating that virtually all commercially available plastics were estrogenic, he was successfully sued by Eastman Chemicals. How is this possible? Simple: for their research tests, Eastman used Charles River Sprague Dawley Lab Rats, which are insensitive to estrogens and can stand a 100x higher dose than can humans without effect. The jury did not grasp the significance of this ploy. Of course, their results were negative.

The above tactics, combined with well-oiled rhetoric in the court proceedings that snowed the jury, mean that our health effects were jeopardized again, just as in the tobacco years.

According to Blake, “The EPA quietly withdrew a request for White House approval to add some endocrine disrupting chemicals- among them BPA [and others] to its ‘chemicals of concern’ list because it found that they may present an unreasonable risk to human health. This would require chemical makers to share safe-testing data with federal regulators.” This despite the 1996 law passed by congress requiring the EPA to screen 80,000 chemicals for endocrine-disrupting effects and report back by 2000. That report has not been forthcoming.

Meantime, for our own safety, we need to consider storing foods in glass jars, give tap water the respect it deserves, check out stainless containers for our packs, and look to whole foods a meal at a time, as we create safety measures that give us some control over our health.

 

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2 Responses to “What’s This About Tritan, the new ‘BPA-Free” Plastic?”

  1. Louise | Philadelphia Estate Planning Law Firm Says:

    Thanks for the ideas you shared on how to stay healthy even by changing our usual habits. A lot of people tend to overlook the things that can create a huge impact on their well-being. Wise choices matter and it is good to know that nowadays, people are left with several options to choose from.

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