What's BPA, and do I really need a new water bottle?
BPA is the main component of polycarbonate, the hard, clear plastic sometimes used to make water bottles, baby bottles, food storage containers and other items like contact lenses, CDs and electronics devices. BPA is even used in places you wouldn't normally think of, like the protective lining in tin cans and in dental sealants. If you've noticed the little arrows stamped on plastic items with numbers inside, the number to look for here is 7. Although not all plastics labeled "7" contain BPA, it's still a good identifier, as are the letters "PC."
As of 2005, 94 of 115 peer-reviewed studies confirmed BPA's toxicity [source: Page]. For example, one study found that women with frequent miscarriages have approximately three times the blood levels of BPA as women with successful pregnancies [source: Bryson]. Yet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains that the use of BPA in food-containing products is safe, and a U.S. National Institutes of Health panel declared BPA posed "negligible concern" concerning reproductive effects in adults [source: Neimark,Zandonella].