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In this blog post, I will discuss BPA, what it is and why it is so prevalent.  I will discuss the dangers and possible side effects of BPA. I will also show you how to find out if your bottled water is BPA-free and give you some (really cute!) options for BPA-free reusable water bottles.

My Babies Were BPA-Free!

When my girls were babies, I saw lots of sippy cups and baby bottles marked as “BPA-Free”.  At the time, I didn’t know what BPA was or why I should be free of it. But because I saw it so often on baby products, I decided that being BPA-free was a good thing.  So, I steered clear of buying any products that didn’t have the BPA-free label. Around the same time, I kept hearing in the news and reading in magazines that people were ditching plastic water bottles in favor of glass or steel reusable water bottles.  Again, I didn’t really know what the fuss was all about over plastic water bottles. However, I didn’t change my buying habits and kept buying cases of water at Costco and using my plastic sports bottles when I went to the gym. My husband is so funny when it comes to sports water bottles because he has a ton of them.  Or I should say, he had a ton of them. At one point, half of out top pantry shelf was full of his sports water bottles and he refused to get rid of them.  But one day he came home and dumped all of the sports water bottles in the trash, except the steel reusable water bottles. When I asked him why he threw away his beloved water bottles, he told me about the growing concern of BPA in plastic water bottles.   That got me to thinking because some of my family members were having some serious health issues.  It made me take a closer look at what I am putting in my body and how it could affect my health. Since I am always drinking tons water and touting its benefits for weight loss, I decided to take a closer look at BPA and learn how it may affect a person’s health. RELATED BLOG POSTS: Drink Water: It’s the Reason Why You’re NOT Losing Weight 

What is BPA?

Okay, I’m about to take you back to 10th grade chemistry class.  BPA is short for Bisphenol A and it’s an industrial chemical that has been used in some plastics and resins since the 60’s.  So what are resins? Resin is a type of plastic used to make water bottles and the lining in food cans.

Why is BPA used?

Manufacturers loved using plastic resins to make water bottles because it hardens the plastic and prevents the water from being contaminated by bacteria.  Lots of food cans are made with plastic resins because it keeps the food from spoiling and prevents rust. Plastic resins that contain BPA are cheap to create and very effective at preserving food quality.  So it’s easy to see why it was used so often.

What the dangers or possible side effects of BPA?

It is believed that 90% of us have BPA in our bodies from the food we eat that comes from cans and water bottles.  But no one can know for sure what is in everyone’s bodies. It also can’t be proven that BPA is harmful to humans. There have been numerous BPA studies on animals but there was no clear conclusion that BPA should be avoided.  However, out of an abundance of caution, the FDA issued some warnings of the possible side effects and dangers of BPA. Here are a few of them:

  • Disrupt normal hormone levels
  • Brain and behavior problems for infants and children
  • Cancer
  • Heart problems
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • ADHD and other issues.

Even though BPA can have negative effects on anyone, it is especially important to keep children and infants from being exposed to BPA.  And I know that canned food is everywhere. But if possible, try to eat fresh and organic food as much as possible to avoid ingesting BPA. Okay now you know why to avoid BPA but let’s be real here, everyone drinks bottled water.  What’s the solution?

Buy BPA-free bottled water 

How can you make sure your bottled water is made from a BPA -ree plastic? Well, let me say that BPA is not found is all plastic water bottles.  But there is an easy way to find out is your bottled water is BPA-free. Look for “BPA-free” on the label on the base of the water bottle.   Also look for the recycle symbol.  If there is a 1, 2 or 5 in the recycle symbol, then that water bottle is BPA-free. However, avoid water bottles that have a 7 or the word “other” in the recycle symbol. This means that water bottle may contain BPA. The good thing is that more and more companies are creating BPA-free water bottles.  And I’ve noticed these BPA-free water bottles are not as sturdy as the other bottled water.  The bottle is easy to crush and is flimsy almost. But hey, it’s safer so I’ll take it!

Buy reusable water bottles

Okay now that we’ve tackled how to find BPA-free bottled water, let’s help those people like my hubby who love using sports water bottles stay safe.  Because there are different types of bottles that are safe and healthy for humans to use. BPA-Free Plastic – Only use reusable plastic water bottles that are clearly marked as BPA-free. Glass – People use reusable glass water bottles because they are eco-friendly and there’s no risk of weird flavors or smells finding their way into your water. They also save money since you’re not buying bottled water over and over again. I know what you’re thinking.  That it’s dangerous to carry around glass reusable water bottles because the glass might shatter and break. Well, that’s what I was thinking, too. But these water bottles are totally safe. They are made of thick glass and covered in sturdy silicone or rubber.  Therefore, your water bottle is not likely to break.  So if you want to go the glass reusable water bottle route, here is my top pick…. Xtremeglas 32 Oz Glass Water Bottle – These 32 oz glass water bottles are encased in a sturdy, protective silicone sleeve.  The lid is leak-proof and the bottle contains time markings and measurements.   There water bottles are safe for cold and hot liquids like tea and coffee.  They’re great for the home, gym or office.  And of course, it’s BPA-free. Stainless Steel is probably the most popular reusable water bottle choice. These bottles are virtually indestructible and have the ability to keep water cold (or hot!) for long periods of time.  Even though stainless steel water bottles are more expensive than their plastic and glass counterparts, they are worth every penny. Here are some of my favorite reusable steel water bottles. MIRA Stainless Steel, Vacuum Insulated, Wide Mouth Water Bottle – I tend to only buy stainless steel water bottles that can hold at least 40 oz or more.  I know there are lots of water bottles that come in smaller sizes.  But if I use a 40 oz water bottle, I only have to fill it up 3 times to get my gallon of water in for the day. S’well Insulated Stainless Steel Roamer – Another cute stainless steel reusable water bottle option by S’well.  There are so many colors and patterns available, it’s hard to pick just one! Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Bottle – Klean Kanteen water bottles are the original stainless steel water bottles.  They are one of the most popular on the market and have been around for over a decade. These high-quality bottles were designed to last a lifetime and are known in hiking communities as a must when you head out to the woods.  Klean Kanteen water bottles are top of the line and environmentally friendly.     Paper – I had no idea this was even an option but in doing my research for this blog post I found out that water contained in paper boxes is an alternative to using plastic, steel or glass water bottles. It’s not mainstream yet but is definitely growing in popularity.  There are lots of people out there who want to drink water that’s not contained in plastics and are concerned about the environment.  Here are the two most popular paper water box options. Boxed Water – This company offers water in half-gallon cartons as featured in the image below.  Or you can get a small (8.5 oz), lunch-sized boxes that are perfect for kids. JUST Water – This is another boxed water option. Each 16.9 oz box contains 100% Premium Spring Water in a Paper-Based Recyclable Bottle that has a naturally high pH level (8.0) and is BPA-free.

Are YOU gonna go BPA-Free?

So let’s do a quick recap.  In this blog post, I discussed the origins of BPA, how it’s used and why it’s so popular among manufacturers.  I detailed the dangers and possible side effects of BPA while noting that there is no real conclusive evidence on the effects of BPA on humans.  I also showed you 2 easy ways to find out if your bottle water may contain BPA and some cool alternatives if you want to use reusable water bottles. I know there’s a lot of information to digest in this blog post.  But I want to say that I am not perfect and I’m not judging.  I still buy bottled water from Costco cuz I LOVE Costco! But I don’t always check to see if the bottled water is BPA-free.  However, I try to buy BPA-free as much as possible.  We are busy moms moving a million miles a minute. This blog post is just to help educate you about BPA so you make more informed decisions when you are ready.   BTW in the comments, tell me what kind of reusable water bottles do you use.  Glass? Paper? Plastic? Stainless Steel?

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