In most plastic bottles, as in cans, a common component is bisphenol A (or BPA). As a new study reveals, even a single exposure to BPA can have a direct impact on health.
Scientists have long taken for granted that bisphenol A is capable of penetrating the contents of packages. Specialists from the Department of Preventive Medicine at Seoul National University (South Korea) have just published an article in the newspaper ‘Hypertension‘, from the American Heart Association, where they analyzed its effects on humans. It turns out that within two hours of drinking from a container containing BPA, the level of this substance in the urine rises about 16 times.
The single ingestion of two containers containing some liquid with BPA causes a sharp rise in systolic blood pressure by 4.5 mm Hg. This effect is due to the fact that the substance blocks part of the estrogen receptors responsible for the repair of blood vessels and interrupts the thyroid hormone, they noted.
Every 20-millimeter increase in systolic blood pressure doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease, American scientists estimate in another study. Based on this, the daily consumption of water in plastic bottles can serve as a trigger.
Risk to the baby during pregnancy
The French Agency for Food Safety (ANSES)issued in 2013 a special warning for pregnant women, instructing them against exposure to BPA. "It represents a risk to the mammary glands of the unborn child," the agency warned in a report that ended a three-year investigation.
Obesity and diabetes
According to specialists from the Catholic University of Australia, chronic exposure to bisphenol-A also causes cancer, diabetes, disorders in the reproductive system, in the central nervous system and thyroid, as well as obesity. Or at least, it does it in animals.
Leaving the BPA issue out, there are still other risks. About 25% of the bottled water sold in the US reaches the container directly from the tap, according to ecologists. It can contain phthalates, mold, benzene, trihalomethanes, and even arsenic. No reliable data is available for other countries, but it is highly unlikely that in any corner of the world the situation will be better.