Health Chats
The Real Truth About Plastics: What you should and shouldn't worry about
Wednesday Dec 08, 2010, 07:30PM - 08:30PM (EST)
Joe Schwarcz, PhDBlank
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.