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Surprising Science

Are Plastic Containers Disrupting Your Hormones?

While the hormone-disrupting chemical BPA has been eliminated from baby bottles and other containers, current regulation makes it impossible to know which ones are chemical-free. 

What’s the Latest Development?

A new study from a government-funded research agency indicates that while the hormone-disrupting chemical BPA has been eliminated from many plastic containers meant for storing food, the threat of ingesting dangerous chemicals remains. “Called endocrine disruptors, these chemicals falsely tell the body’s cells that the hormone estrogen is around, potentially causing troubling developmental and reproductive consequences.” When researchers applied stress tests to plastic containers, they found that over 90% of them leached chemicals that could affect the body’s hormones. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Due to lack of regulation, it is currently impossible for consumers to know which chemicals are used in the production of plastic contains intended for storing food. What is known, however, is that these chemicals are commonly released when the plastics are heated up, for example, in the microwave. The researchers who conducted the latest study say that while it is not time to throw all your containers out, more efforts were needed to protect consumers: “We recommend that people go to retailers and manufacturers and ask them if they have tested for estrogenic activity (EA) and if they can provide EA-free packaging.”


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