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Fat Guy

The truth about plastic containers, bottles, and packaging

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If you were convinced of the evils of BPA, you'd want to eliminate canned foods. The amount of bpa leached from a polycarbonate cambro container is trivial compared with what leaches into canned anything.

>> Should I not use the plastic take-out / doggy bag containers in the microwave?

Most takeout containers are polypropylene. I microwave them without a second thought.

Where does BPA come from in a metal can?

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Where does BPA come from in a metal can?

Most (nearly all) cans are lined with an epoxy resin, which uses BPA as a precursor.


Edited by emannths (log)

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I just read this article at The Washing Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/trace-chemicals-in-everyday-food-packaging-cause-worry-over-cumulative-threat/2012/04/16/gIQAUILvMT_story.html

I wonder what the effects of plastic are for sous vide type of cooking... Not super concerned but definitely something I would like to know more about. Does anyone share the same concers or know more about the subject?

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I just read this article at The Washing Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/trace-chemicals-in-everyday-food-packaging-cause-worry-over-cumulative-threat/2012/04/16/gIQAUILvMT_story.html

I wonder what the effects of plastic are for sous vide type of cooking... Not super concerned but definitely something I would like to know more about. Does anyone share the same concers or know more about the subject?

I share the same concerns. I don't want to eat anything sous vided, although I know I probably do if I eat out. I don't use plastic anything in the microwave. I'm sure most of you sous vide people will call me crazy. Oh well. :laugh:

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I should probably just save following sentence and C&P to all similar topics:

If everything that a study here or there reported as dangerous actually was dangerous, there would be nobody around to post on this forum.

Media and academic journals suffer from the same issue. They both want something new and interesting and unfortunately, danger and impending death or sickness are always interesting.

A hundred studies could be done suggesting that these plastics are completely safe but a journal would publish the one that showed statistically significant danger and the media would publish it as fact with a startling headline.

Self filtering (i.e. people who do studies but don't submit them for publication because they show no significant effect from what they were studying) and natural biases by journals towards studies that had significant outcomes mean that outlier studies are much more likely to get published.

I'm not saying that there is no chance that these things are dangerous. I'm just saying that as long as life expectancies are steadily increasing decade to decade, I'm not going to spend my entire life avoiding everything that MIGHT have the potential to cause me to live a year or two less when the process of peer review is so fundamentally flawed.


Edited by BadRabbit (log)

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Uh... I'm not a scientist, but if the levels of the chemicals they were testing for in the participants' urine dropped after only three days, doesn't that suggest that our bodies are doing a pretty good job of excreting the chemicals in question?


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Uh... I'm not a scientist, but if the levels of the chemicals they were testing for in the participants' urine dropped after only three days, doesn't that suggest that our bodies are doing a pretty good job of excreting the chemicals in question?

If they are only looking for the parent compound it doesn't say much about how long potential metabolites may stay in the body. Also tissue accumulation is possible and would give you similar results for the urine concentration without eliminating the compound from the body

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I should probably just save following sentence and C&P to all similar topics:

If everything that a study here or there reported as dangerous actually was dangerous, there would be nobody around to post on this forum.

Media and academic journals suffer from the same issue. They both want something new and interesting and unfortunately, danger and impending death or sickness are always interesting.

A hundred studies could be done suggesting that these plastics are completely safe but a journal would publish the one that showed statistically significant danger and the media would publish it as fact with a startling headline.

Self filtering (i.e. people who do studies but don't submit them for publication because they show no significant effect from what they were studying) and natural biases by journals towards studies that had significant outcomes mean that outlier studies are much more likely to get published.

I'm not saying that there is no chance that these things are dangerous. I'm just saying that as long as life expectancies are steadily increasing decade to decade, I'm not going to spend my entire life avoiding everything that MIGHT have the potential to cause me to live a year or two less when the process of peer review is so fundamentally flawed.

Whoa, whoa, whoa...

Who do you think funds most studies on things related to consumer goods?

Not a lot of people are sitting out there conducting studies on foods & materials for the heck of it.... it is usually people with a profit motive and talk about "self selecting"... corporations have the most to gain from self selective research. I've was an executive at a consumer product company that sponsored lots of research... and have seen the self selection first hand.

Seeing a bunch of "positive / no real risk" studies, funded by corporations with very little research done by organizations not tied said corporations doesn't give me the warm fuzzies... say for example you have dozens of Tobacco industry sponsored studies suggest there is no proof of the link between smoking & lung cancer.. but a single government sponsored study suggests otherwise... I am am going to er on not giving the corporations the benefit of the doubt... just sayin'

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I should probably just save following sentence and C&P to all similar topics:

If everything that a study here or there reported as dangerous actually was dangerous, there would be nobody around to post on this forum.

Media and academic journals suffer from the same issue. They both want something new and interesting and unfortunately, danger and impending death or sickness are always interesting.

A hundred studies could be done suggesting that these plastics are completely safe but a journal would publish the one that showed statistically significant danger and the media would publish it as fact with a startling headline.

Self filtering (i.e. people who do studies but don't submit them for publication because they show no significant effect from what they were studying) and natural biases by journals towards studies that had significant outcomes mean that outlier studies are much more likely to get published.

I'm not saying that there is no chance that these things are dangerous. I'm just saying that as long as life expectancies are steadily increasing decade to decade, I'm not going to spend my entire life avoiding everything that MIGHT have the potential to cause me to live a year or two less when the process of peer review is so fundamentally flawed.

Whoa, whoa, whoa...

Who do you think funds most studies on things related to consumer goods?

Not a lot of people are sitting out there conducting studies on foods & materials for the heck of it.... it is usually people with a profit motive and talk about "self selecting"... corporations have the most to gain from self selective research. I've was an executive at a consumer product company that sponsored lots of research... and have seen the self selection first hand.

Seeing a bunch of "positive / no real risk" studies, funded by corporations with very little research done by organizations not tied said corporations doesn't give me the warm fuzzies... say for example you have dozens of Tobacco industry sponsored studies suggest there is no proof of the link between smoking & lung cancer.. but a single government sponsored study suggests otherwise... I am am going to er on not giving the corporations the benefit of the doubt... just sayin'

Profit motive and commerce are the reasons you live in a house and have a computer instead of residing in a mud hut. I would suggest not pretending like they are forces of evil.

Also, the government that you seem to trust and think is both good and competent has killed, extorted, stolen and lied more than all the corporations in the world combined but don't let that get in the way of the string of logical fallacies in your post.

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Also, the government that you seem to trust and think is both good and competent has killed, extorted, stolen and lied more than all the corporations in the world combined but don't let that get in the way of the string of logical fallacies in your post.

These kind of blanket assumptions are incendiary and a hindrance to rational discussion. Heck, maybe corporations are just better at keeping secrets.

I find it is farfetched to argue that scientists in the CDC, NIH, etc. are all in cahoots to pull the wool over the public's eyes with regard to health risks of products and chemicals. Not to say there is never a flaw in their research, but by your "logic" the government made up evidence about the health risks of tobacco, for example. I think not.

Follow the money is my mantra. Who funds the science and stands to profit or lose due to a particular finding? Yeah, I trust the government more than corporations. Having worked both in the public and private sectors I feel I have made a rational decision to do so.

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I should probably just save following sentence and C&P to all similar topics:

If everything that a study here or there reported as dangerous actually was dangerous, there would be nobody around to post on this forum.

Media and academic journals suffer from the same issue. They both want something new and interesting and unfortunately, danger and impending death or sickness are always interesting.

A hundred studies could be done suggesting that these plastics are completely safe but a journal would publish the one that showed statistically significant danger and the media would publish it as fact with a startling headline.

Self filtering (i.e. people who do studies but don't submit them for publication because they show no significant effect from what they were studying) and natural biases by journals towards studies that had significant outcomes mean that outlier studies are much more likely to get published.

I'm not saying that there is no chance that these things are dangerous. I'm just saying that as long as life expectancies are steadily increasing decade to decade, I'm not going to spend my entire life avoiding everything that MIGHT have the potential to cause me to live a year or two less when the process of peer review is so fundamentally flawed.

Whoa, whoa, whoa...

Who do you think funds most studies on things related to consumer goods?

Not a lot of people are sitting out there conducting studies on foods & materials for the heck of it.... it is usually people with a profit motive and talk about "self selecting"... corporations have the most to gain from self selective research. I've was an executive at a consumer product company that sponsored lots of research... and have seen the self selection first hand.

Seeing a bunch of "positive / no real risk" studies, funded by corporations with very little research done by organizations not tied said corporations doesn't give me the warm fuzzies... say for example you have dozens of Tobacco industry sponsored studies suggest there is no proof of the link between smoking & lung cancer.. but a single government sponsored study suggests otherwise... I am am going to er on not giving the corporations the benefit of the doubt... just sayin'

Profit motive and commerce are the reasons you live in a house and have a computer instead of residing in a mud hut. I would suggest not pretending like they are forces of evil.

Also, the government that you seem to trust and think is both good and competent has killed, extorted, stolen and lied more than all the corporations in the world combined but don't let that get in the way of the string of logical fallacies in your post.

Any chance you could back up some of your "claims" with actual facts/evidences beyond just repeating Foxnews propaganda. It's obvious that you have very little clue how research in industry and academia(government funded) is interwined and that with industry research alone we wouldn't be as advanced in many areas, e.g. IT, biotech etc. etc.

And just to look into the food area and to see how many recalls (often enforced by government and against the interest/will of the commercial companies who would like to hide any problems with their products) we see every month/week from commercial companies shows that it is very naive to blindly trust commerce (which also means you shouldn't trust blindly government but the world is not only black and white)

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I should probably just save following sentence and C&P to all similar topics:

If everything that a study here or there reported as dangerous actually was dangerous, there would be nobody around to post on this forum.

Media and academic journals suffer from the same issue. They both want something new and interesting and unfortunately, danger and impending death or sickness are always interesting.

A hundred studies could be done suggesting that these plastics are completely safe but a journal would publish the one that showed statistically significant danger and the media would publish it as fact with a startling headline.

Self filtering (i.e. people who do studies but don't submit them for publication because they show no significant effect from what they were studying) and natural biases by journals towards studies that had significant outcomes mean that outlier studies are much more likely to get published.

I'm not saying that there is no chance that these things are dangerous. I'm just saying that as long as life expectancies are steadily increasing decade to decade, I'm not going to spend my entire life avoiding everything that MIGHT have the potential to cause me to live a year or two less when the process of peer review is so fundamentally flawed.

Whoa, whoa, whoa...

Who do you think funds most studies on things related to consumer goods?

Not a lot of people are sitting out there conducting studies on foods & materials for the heck of it.... it is usually people with a profit motive and talk about "self selecting"... corporations have the most to gain from self selective research. I've was an executive at a consumer product company that sponsored lots of research... and have seen the self selection first hand.

Seeing a bunch of "positive / no real risk" studies, funded by corporations with very little research done by organizations not tied said corporations doesn't give me the warm fuzzies... say for example you have dozens of Tobacco industry sponsored studies suggest there is no proof of the link between smoking & lung cancer.. but a single government sponsored study suggests otherwise... I am am going to er on not giving the corporations the benefit of the doubt... just sayin'

Profit motive and commerce are the reasons you live in a house and have a computer instead of residing in a mud hut. I would suggest not pretending like they are forces of evil.

Also, the government that you seem to trust and think is both good and competent has killed, extorted, stolen and lied more than all the corporations in the world combined but don't let that get in the way of the string of logical fallacies in your post.

Any chance you could back up some of your "claims" with actual facts/evidences beyond just repeating Foxnews propaganda. It's obvious that you have very little clue how research in industry and academia(government funded) is interwined and that with industry research alone we wouldn't be as advanced in many areas, e.g. IT, biotech etc. etc.

And just to look into the food area and to see how many recalls (often enforced by government and against the interest/will of the commercial companies who would like to hide any problems with their products) we see every month/week from commercial companies shows that it is very naive to blindly trust commerce (which also means you shouldn't trust blindly government but the world is not only black and white)

I guarantee you've watched Foxnews more than I have as I'm not sure it's ever even been on my TV.

Though not exactly the situation I was referring to earlier, here is a meta-analysis on saturated fats relation to CDV where the determination was that the government agencies and advisory boards were found to be making claims and suggesting alteration of behavior that was not supported by the scientific literature. This was published in Nutrition.

http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/14947167/286295948/name/NUTRITION%20sat%20fat.pdf

There are other analyses that back up my statement about studies and the tendencies for outlier studies to get published though I don't have time to track them down now. Regardless, the study above makes the point that government agencies often make suggestions that don't reflect the real dangers (or lack thereof) involved.

BTW, "follow the money" is a fallacy. If the studies showing no effect are faulty, they should be attacked on their methodology or blinding or some other part of the process. Saying "they benefit from no effect therefore their studies are invalid" is ad hom. Not to mention the fact that companies wouldn't be served long term by producing dangerous materials. Eventually the truth comes out and they lose more than they made in the first place.

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I should probably just save following sentence and C&P to all similar topics:

If everything that a study here or there reported as dangerous actually was dangerous, there would be nobody around to post on this forum.

Media and academic journals suffer from the same issue. They both want something new and interesting and unfortunately, danger and impending death or sickness are always interesting.

A hundred studies could be done suggesting that these plastics are completely safe but a journal would publish the one that showed statistically significant danger and the media would publish it as fact with a startling headline.

Self filtering (i.e. people who do studies but don't submit them for publication because they show no significant effect from what they were studying) and natural biases by journals towards studies that had significant outcomes mean that outlier studies are much more likely to get published.

I'm not saying that there is no chance that these things are dangerous. I'm just saying that as long as life expectancies are steadily increasing decade to decade, I'm not going to spend my entire life avoiding everything that MIGHT have the potential to cause me to live a year or two less when the process of peer review is so fundamentally flawed.

Whoa, whoa, whoa...

Who do you think funds most studies on things related to consumer goods?

Not a lot of people are sitting out there conducting studies on foods & materials for the heck of it.... it is usually people with a profit motive and talk about "self selecting"... corporations have the most to gain from self selective research. I've was an executive at a consumer product company that sponsored lots of research... and have seen the self selection first hand.

Seeing a bunch of "positive / no real risk" studies, funded by corporations with very little research done by organizations not tied said corporations doesn't give me the warm fuzzies... say for example you have dozens of Tobacco industry sponsored studies suggest there is no proof of the link between smoking & lung cancer.. but a single government sponsored study suggests otherwise... I am am going to er on not giving the corporations the benefit of the doubt... just sayin'

Profit motive and commerce are the reasons you live in a house and have a computer instead of residing in a mud hut. I would suggest not pretending like they are forces of evil.

Also, the government that you seem to trust and think is both good and competent has killed, extorted, stolen and lied more than all the corporations in the world combined but don't let that get in the way of the string of logical fallacies in your post.

Any chance you could back up some of your "claims" with actual facts/evidences beyond just repeating Foxnews propaganda. It's obvious that you have very little clue how research in industry and academia(government funded) is interwined and that with industry research alone we wouldn't be as advanced in many areas, e.g. IT, biotech etc. etc.

And just to look into the food area and to see how many recalls (often enforced by government and against the interest/will of the commercial companies who would like to hide any problems with their products) we see every month/week from commercial companies shows that it is very naive to blindly trust commerce (which also means you shouldn't trust blindly government but the world is not only black and white)

I guarantee you've watched Foxnews more than I have as I'm not sure it's ever even been on my TV.

Though not exactly the situation I was referring to earlier, here is a meta-analysis on saturated fats relation to CDV where the determination was that the government agencies and advisory boards were found to be making claims and suggesting alteration of behavior that was not supported by the scientific literature. This was published in Nutrition.

http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/14947167/286295948/name/NUTRITION%20sat%20fat.pdf

There are other analyses that back up my statement about studies and the tendencies for outlier studies to get published though I don't have time to track them down now. Regardless, the study above makes the point that government agencies often make suggestions that don't reflect the real dangers (or lack thereof) involved.

BTW, "follow the money" is a fallacy. If the studies showing no effect are faulty, they should be attacked on their methodology or blinding or some other part of the process. Saying "they benefit from no effect therefore their studies are invalid" is ad hom. Not to mention the fact that companies wouldn't be served long term by producing dangerous materials. Eventually the truth comes out and they lose more than they made in the first place.

Logical fallacy... as explained by Game Theory... corporations often (maybe typically in our culture & regulatory environment) tend to manage for short term again against long term risk... hence Pink Slime in Big Macs, BP taking short cuts with the Macondo well etc., Regulation emerged, not out of some overreaching Socialist or Authoritarian agenda).. but because the first 300 years of Capitalism taught us that in many (perhaps most) large scale industries tend to fail absent of smart regulation (Banking, Insurance, Equity Brokerage are three industries that literally cannot sustain themselves without 3rd party regulation as the rational actors in each time & time again make decisions that maximize short term gains but prove to be stupid in the long run... too big to fail was a lesson learned many boom - bust cycles ago)

Its funny how long companies have gotten away with Beef Slime, Tuna Slime, Chicken Slime etc., without public furor despite the proliferation of media & information.

And to be on the same page.. there should be no illusion that the U.S. government regulates materials very much... companies have a very low burden of proof to establish the safety of their new invented materials... the way it works here.. is wait until alot of people get very sick, have them engage in a lengthy law suit and then government will ban materials.

Hope you enjoy your asbestos cocktail... oh wait I how wonder how many decades went by with research establishing "no direct link" between asbestos & pathology?

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BTW, "follow the money" is a fallacy. If the studies showing no effect are faulty, they should be attacked on their methodology or blinding or some other part of the process. Saying "they benefit from no effect therefore their studies are invalid" is ad hom. Not to mention the fact that companies wouldn't be served long term by producing dangerous materials. Eventually the truth comes out and they lose more than they made in the first place.

To clarify, I do not mean that just because someone stands to profit from a particular result that any study achieving that result must be invalid. Knowing who is funding the research can bring perspective to underlying assumptions that were made, etc., especially in a non peer-reviewed study. I am a natural skeptic, and I want to know the motives behind any claims that are made.

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In the spirit of treating this like an important subject that is worthy of restrained and respectful debate, would anyone care to cite (or present a relatively brief, contextualized quotation from) an article addressing this topic, based on solidly constructed and reviewed research, and published in a widely respected journal?


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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I think you might have a hard time finding a study that deals with the original question as a whole, simply because there are just too many different plastics. As other have also already mentioned, it's not only the plastics, but also the additives/paint etc. To really assert if a specific product is safe can be a pretty time consuming task.

Then there is also the issue that a (or many) test(s) for toxicity don't say anything about other adverse effects that this material might have.

For those who are not used to it, pretty good resources for papers are e.g. PubMed or google scholar.

The downside is always that interpreting those studies can be a pretty daunting task on its own. I'm used to reading papers, but since medicine/chemistry is not my field I'm mostly lost when looking at single papers.

The one thing that is interesting though is looking at meta analyses. Here is one concering BPA's influence on reproductive organs: An updated weight of the evidence evaluation of reproductive and developmental effects of low doses of bisphenol A.

Enjoy!

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Whoa, whoa, whoa...

Who do you think funds most studies on things related to consumer goods?

Not a lot of people are sitting out there conducting studies on foods & materials for the heck of it.... it is usually people with a profit motive and talk about "self selecting"... corporations have the most to gain from self selective research.

I wish you'd do your own research before posting distracting statements like this.

First—most of the research in question is done at the university level, with funding form the NIH and grants from other public health agencies. All of it goes through the scientific journal peer review process, which, while far from perfect, is the best system our species has yet devised for controling bias.

Second, and please think seriously about this—the only reason you've even HEARD about the dangers of any plastics is because of research published by the very same people and institutions that you are now systematically dismissing.

If researches were universally corrupt and in collusion and wanted to hide something from the public, it would be the easiest thing in the world. But they took on the research, they chose to spend their limited grant money on it, they got the results, and they went through the (substantial) trouble of publishing it. If you trust the intitial reports that say "this stuff might be hazardous," why would chose to dismiss continued research that modifies those initial findings? This is how science works: continued research supports, contradics, or refines the initial findings.

We are learning that plastic is something to consider, but not blindly fear. This is good news, IMO.


Notes from the underbelly

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For example, some say not to reuse a water bottle. I can't see any scientific rationale to this. The first fill will contain the highest concentration of "contaminants," and each subsequent fill should have lower and lower concentration (a good analogy: think about the color of your tea when you reuse a tea bag--each time you reuse it, the color gets lighter). Perhaps there's some concern that over time the plastic degrades, but this would happen regardless of whether or not the container if filled with its original contents or something else.

My conclusion: don't worry about reusing plastic containers. If there's any difference at all, it's probably better than using a new container.

This sounds more like an opinoion rather than any substantiated fact. How did you arrive at this conclusion? I don't believe that the tea analogy is particularly useful - tea and plastic are widely different materials, and are used in entirely different ways.


 ... Shel


 

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This issue is just like many many others in science and medicine. We have a bunch of suggestive studies that are far from conclusive in animals and the choice of acting on partial information or waiting till conclusive human studies appear.

Doctors deal with this daily. A great illustration is whether antioxidants do anything of value. There are the sort of lab studies that Dr Oz loves which suggest benefits in cultured cells but there are no reliable studies that i know of showing benefit in man. In fact the big well done human studies show either no benefit or increased cardiac risk for vit C and E. Is that the last word? Nope

What's my point? It is that knowledge evolves. No one paper or group of papers gives the whole story. And the conclusions will change as more science is done.

Everyone gets to choose what evidence they base decisions on but it is really wrong to attack the motives of those who disagree. Often those who say that more data is needed are the ones proven right.

As far as FDA being in industry's pocket, that couldn't be farther from the truth. If anything they are hostile to industry and limited only by their funding and mandate from Congress.

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