Health Chats
The Real Truth About Plastics: What you should and shouldn't worry about
Wednesday Dec 08, 2010, 07:30PM - 08:30PM (EST)
1520352?1291076046
Director of McGill University's Office for Science and Society
Are plastic water bottles safe? Should you microwave food in plastic containers? Are baby bottles made with bisphenol A (BPA) safe for your child? Should you have any concerns about buying plastic toys this holiday season? Find out the answer to these questions and more as world-renowned chemist, Joe Schwarcz, PhD, and pediatrician Stacy Stryer, MD, review the latest research in this live health chat. Please join us at 7:30pm ET on Wednesday, December 8, 2010, to ask the experts your questions and learn the facts about plastics safety.
madtram:
The Aquatek polycarb pop top drinking bottle is a safe alternative to most other plastic bottles that can allow leaching of chemicals into your drinks.
Joe Schwarcz, PhD:
If it is made of polycarbonate, there will be some BPA leaching, but as I have said I think in the grand scheme of things it is irrelevant
Barbaraf310:
What are some everyday products that contain BPA that we should avoid? Thanks. Barbara Ficarra
Joe Schwarcz, PhD:
I don't think we have evidence to suggest that BPA should be avoided except perhaps teh case of baby bottles and sippy cups
Emergiblog:
So, polycarbonate drink bottles are NOT totally safe??? Even though the are sold in health stores??? Confusion is here after the last question before the pig balls! : D
Joe Schwarcz, PhD:
Safety is relative.  There is no such thing as "totally safe" in any area of life.  I know of no evidence that any human has ever been adversely affected by drinking from such a bottle.
phandl:
chicpeas link to breast cancer?
Joe Schwarcz, PhD:
no body has looked
phandl:
milk linked bto breast cancer?
Joe Schwarcz, PhD:
this has been examined and there are some studies suggesting a link
katscan:
hi again. are phthalates more dangerous that BPA? or is the risk the same? I know you said the risk from BPA is small, but phthalates have also gotten a lot of press. thanks!
Joe Schwarcz, PhD:
Phthalates is a general term that describes many similar compounds with different toxicology profiles.  Ithink the "risk" has been way overstated.
phandl:
aren'T we talking about concentrations and frequency of exposure?
Joe Schwarcz, PhD:
...as with everything else in life...yes
margypops:
so Dr do you mean we should be vegetarian ?
Joe Schwarcz, PhD:
no...but we do not need a 16 oz steak when 6 oz will do
phandl:
Why use BPA?
Joe Schwarcz, PhD:
Because it is used to make polycarbonates which are used in everything from football helmets to compact disks and a myriad items that you would not want to be without
phandl:
explain please...a 1000 watt microwave induced radio waves is low energy?
Joe Schwarcz, PhD:
The energy of electromagnetic radiation is determined by its wavelength.  Microwaves are very long and of very low energy.  You are confusing power with energy.  Power in a sense is the number of waves you put out..but each wave is of the same energy.  And microwaves do not have the energy to break chemical bonds
Emergiblog:
Why is powder better than ready made formula??
Joe Schwarcz, PhD:
Dry substances do not leach out components from plastics the same way as liquids.