Akhila is a Justmeans staff writer for CSR and ethical consumption. As an IEMA certified CSR practitioner, she hopes to highlight a new way of doing business. She believes that consumers have the immense power to change 'business as usual' through their choices. She is a Graduate in Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, UK and in Environmental Management and Law. In her free-time she i...
Being BPA free
We've all known for awhile now that BPA is a toxic substance that has been found in a lot plastic products. It has been known to have oestrogenic activity which means it mimics the hormone oestrogen found in the body and has been linked to the increase in many cancers including ovarian and breast cancers. In addition to affecting human health it is also causes various animal mutations.
As an ethical consumer, it is necessary to avoid products that contain chemicals that can cause environmental harm. Products containing bisphenol A-based plastics have been in commerce for more than 50 years. It is also used to create a shatter-proof plastic that is commonly used in baby and water bottles, sports equipment, medical and dental devices, dental fillings and sealants, eyeglass lenses, CDs and DVDs, and household electronics. It has been known since the 1930s that it is an endocrine disruptor but the vigorous campaign against BPA only began recently.
Because of it is found pretty much everywhere, it becomes difficult to avoid. It is found in canned food, lining the inside of the can and in water bottles. This drive for reduction of BPA has resulted in many companies investing in BPA-free products. BPA-free cans are available, but they cost approximately 2.2 cents more (14%) than cans with standard BPA epoxy liners. Some of the green brands that are BPA-free include Eden Hill that makes canned food which has switched to non-BPA can liners. Vital Choice cans MSC-certified salmon as well as albacore tuna, sardines and mackerel with BPA free liners. Many Trader Joe's products come in BPA-free cans. You will also find that in the Native Forest or Native Factor brands, the canned goods are BPA free.
Considering that babies are the most vulnerable to exposure to chemicals, many companies are leading the way towards producing a more sustainable baby line. Greentogrow not only produced BPA-free baby bottles but also organic cloths. Their entire range is also free of phthalates, lead, PVC; they go the extra mile where the connect parents with groups that take used baby bottles, such as women's shelters. ThinkBaby bottles are not only free of BPA, the company also says their bottles don't have lead, phthalates or nitrosamines. The Wee*Go bottle is made from glass and comes with a rubber sleeve around the outside, the entire bottle assembly is free of BPA, phthalates, PVC and polycarbonates.
It is because of the BPA-scare that many people have started using stainless steel water bottles instead of plastic. Spigg is probably the most famous company known for its customizable bottles. This Swiss company uses aluminium instead of steel and uses a phthalate and BPA-free lining. Thinksport , KleanKanteen and CamelBak are companies that use stainless steel. Titan is another company that makes a BPA-free bottle with a carabiner clip.
Canada recently became the first nation in the world to have officially deemed BPA toxic -- in fact, the first major jurisdiction. The European Union recently completed an investigation of the chemical, but didn't label it toxic in the end. The US FDA is still studying the effects of BPA whilst many retailers like Wal-Mart have proactively stopped sourcing BPA products. With so many green brands promoting ethical consumerism by going BPA-free, there is no excuse why you shouldn't.