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RE: [Hammock Camping] is nalgene a killer?

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  • firefly
    I don t remotely care. Something is going to get each of us, eventually. No offense to this poster, and I have no problem with people posting stuff like this
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 27, 2004
      I don't remotely care. Something is going to get each of us, eventually. No
      offense to this poster, and I have no problem with people posting stuff like
      this to the list, but I just want to state that I think it is a bunch of
      over blown BS, and even if it's not, I don't care.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: jjoven_49 [mailto:hoz49@...]
      Sent: Friday, February 27, 2004 7:20 AM
      To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Hammock Camping] is nalgene a killer?

      found on a backpacking site:


      By Brenna Doheny, Daily Barometer (OR), Feb. 18, 2004

      Studies show that the popular Nalgene water bottles may pose serious
      health risks, breaking down and contaminating their contents. The
      bottles are made of Lexan polycarbonate resin, the same material used
      bulletproof windows, compact discs and DVDs. From outdoor enthusiasts,
      to athletes, to students at OSU, the hydration method of choice is a
      colorful Nalgene water bottle.

      While these durable, lightweight and undeniably trendy bottles seem
      like the perfect choice for the health-conscious consumer, scientific
      evidence indicates that the very plastic which makes the bottles so
      ideal may pose serious health hazards.

      The durability and beauty of the Nalgene bottle comes from the
      it is made of, Lexan polycarbonate resin. This plastic polymer was
      developed by General Electric Plastics in 1953, when, according to
      Web site, (www.gelexan.com) Dr. Daniel W. Fox was developing a polymer
      for wire insulation material.

      Fox accidentally created a polymer that was unbreakable when it
      hardened in a beaker, and patented this revolutionary material. Lexan
      has been used over the years in a vast array of products, including
      space helmet visors, bulletproof windows, compact discs and DVDs,
      phones, computers, baby bottles and, of course, water bottles.

      The Lexan bottles are marketed by a division of the Nalgene company
      known as Nalgene Outdoor Products. Nalgene was founded in 1949, and
      company soon cornered the market on plastic laboratory equipment. The
      outdoor products division was created in the 1970's after the
      underground use of Nalgene products by outdoor enthusiasts was made

      Lexan was an ideal material for the water bottles both for its
      durability and because the material neither holds odors or flavors nor
      imparts any taste to fluids stored in it.

      Nalgene has marketed its original gray Lexan water bottles for many
      years, but sales increased dramatically in 2002 when a color
      made possible by GE's VISUALfx Lexan finishes was launched.

      The April 2003 volume of "Current Biology" published a study that cast
      suspicion on all polycarbonate plastics, including Lexan.

      The principle author, Dr. Patricia Hunt of Case Western Reserve
      University in Cleveland, Ohio, has spent many years researching
      developmental abnormalities leading to miscarriage and birth defects

      In 1998, her lab documented a sudden, inexplicable increase in a
      known as aneuploidy, which is an abnormal loss or gain of chromosomes.
      In humans, aneuploidy usually leads to miscarriage, or to disorders
      Down Syndrome, which occurs when an embryo ends up with three copies
      chromosome 21, instead of the normal two copies.

      In Hunt's lab, the spontaneous increase in mouse aneuploidy was
      eventually traced to a lab worker using a harsh detergent to clean the
      polycarbonate mice cages and water bottles.

      The detergent caused the plastic to leach one of its constituent
      chemicals, bisphenol A (BPA), which has been shown in other studies to
      mimic the female hormone estrogen. The researchers duplicated the
      detergent accident, with the same end results.

      They then conducted another experiment in which female mice were given
      a daily dose of pure BPA, again with the same end result, and they
      concluded that low doses of BPA had significant effects.

      The polycarbonate industry has criticized the Hunt study, saying that
      data from experiments on mice may not be transferable to humans. The
      industry has also conducted its own studies with rats, modeled on the
      Hunt study, which did not find the same results.

      In a November/December 2003 article for Sierra Magazine, Hunt
      that the industry studies did not look at the effects of BPA on eggs

      "The [plastics] industry says this is just rodent studies," she said,
      "but we know that the human egg is more fragile than the mouse egg. If
      we wait for really hard evidence in humans, it will be too late."

      A University of Missouri study in the July 2003 issue of Environmental
      Health Perspectives further confirmed the Hunt study's conclusions.

      In addition to determining that used, or discolored, polycarbonate
      plastics leach high amounts of BPA at room temperature, this study
      that detectable levels of BPA leach from brand-new polycarbonate
      plastics at room temperature.

      In other studies, BPA has been implicated in more than just
      disorders, and it is just one of many chemicals known to be
      environmental endocrine disruptors - synthetic chemicals that
      with hormonal messages that are central to important body processes
      growth and development.

      According to the Web site for the 1996 book "Our Stolen Future," which
      introduced the field of endocrine disruption to the public, BPA at
      levels "far beneath the levels currently deemed safe by regulatory
      authorities" has been shown to have adverse effects on prostate
      development and tumors, breast tissue development, and sperm count.

      A 2002 study even linked low levels of BPA to the creation and
      enlargement of fat cells in the body, suggesting that exposure to BPA
      may be a cause of obesity.

      The Nalgene Outdoor Products web site now features a response to
      concerns about BPA leaching, stating with confidence that their
      is safe. "Polycarbonate like that used in Nalgene bottles has been
      studied, tested and safely used for more than 40 years in products for
      human consumption," the site states.

      Scientists studying endocrine disruption, however, suggest limiting
      potential exposure to BPA as much as possible. In a presentation last
      month in Eugene sponsored by the Oregon Environmental Council, "Our
      Stolen Future" co-author Dr. John P. Meyers addressed the issue.

      "I personally recommend avoiding polycarbonate plastics - don't let
      them come into contact with your food or water," Meyers said. "I think
      the science is strong enough to justify precautionary measures today."

      He added that despite industry assurances to the safety of
      polycarbonate, baby bottles made from the material have "quietly
      disappeared from the market."

      Many studies have shown that the effects of endocrine disrupting
      chemicals are most devastating during early development, so babies are
      highly at risk.

      Polycarbonate plastics are still used in a variety of products,
      including plastic resins lining some food storage cans, dental
      and the Nalgene Lexan bottles.

      Polycarbonate products can be identified by the symbol "#7 PC" on
      recycling logos.

      According to the Sierra Magazine article, plastics that are safer to
      use for storing food and beverages include polypropylene,
      designated "#5
      PP," high-density polyethylene, designated "#2 HDPE" and low- density
      polyethylene designated "#4 LDPE," none of which are known to leach
      harmful substances.

      Nalgene makes a HDPE bottle identical in size and shape to the more
      popular Lexan model.

      Single-use water bottles (the type bottled water is sold in) made from
      polyethylene terephthalate, "#1 PET" or "PETE" are not recommended for
      repeat use, as a study found they may leach a carcinogenic substance
      known as DEHA.

      The Sierra Magazine article suggests other hydration options,
      using only very mild detergents and warm water to wash polycarbonate
      bottles, and discarding them as soon as they show signs of
      or avoiding plastics altogether in favor of glass or lightweight
      stainless steel containers.

      For more information, visit http://www.ourstolenfuture.org and the
      Nalgene Outdoor Products and http://www.nalgene-outdoor.com

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