Is Your Water Bottle Really BPA-Free?

Some BPA-free water bottles contained BPA, according to new study

(RxWiki News) That reusable BPA-free water bottle may need to take a trip through the dishwasher to actually be free of BPA.

That's the finding of a new study from researchers at the University of Cincinnati, at least. This research found that some water bottles that were labeled as "BPA-free" actually contained trace amounts of the chemical.

The problem? Bisphenol A (BPA) has been linked to negative effects on heart health in adults and the brains and prostate glands in fetuses.

"BPA is an endocrine disruptor, and it acts like estrogen and it can affect the cardiovascular system along with other systems," said study author Rebecca Holmes in a press release. "It can contribute to irregular heart rhythms."

The study began by examining plastic water bottles from countries other than the United States to see if they were truly BPA-free. But it turned out that some of the control bottles, which were from the US, had small amounts of BPA.

"While most of the bottles we tested were indeed BPA-free our study showed that there is a possibility that some may have BPA contamination," said study author Dr. Jianyong Ma in a press release. "If you are concerned about the possibility that the BPA-free bottles are contaminated, washing the bottles after purchase is a good idea. Dishwashing is an effective way of removing the contamination in the specific kind of bottle we tested."

The study authors said it's also wise to follow the washing instructions from the manufacturer of the water bottle.

This study noted that past research found that simply rinsing water bottles was enough to remove trace amounts of BPA. They said that the washing method that effectively removes BPA from plastic water bottles likely depends on the specific bottle.

The researchers did not confirm exactly how these BPA-free water bottles ended up with BPA on them, but they did suggest that it could be from other plastics being made near water bottles in factories. Study author Holmes toured a plastic-making facility and said she observed various types of plastic products being made near each other.

If you have questions about BPA exposure, talk to your health care provider.

This study was published in the journal Chemosphere.

The National Institutes of Health and University of Cincinnati Center for Environmental Genetics funded this research. Information on potential conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.

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Review Date: 
May 11, 2021