What is the difference between BPA-free and Estrogen Activity Free?
Estrogen is a hormone. Hormones are chemical signals produced by living things. Hormones tell far-flung body parts what needs to be done. In females, estrogen is important in breast development, reproduction and in maintenance of healthy tissue. Too much can increase risk of breast cancer. Too much estrogen during fetal development can harm a developing baby. Estrogenic compounds are also used in birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, and to treat prostate cancer in men.
There has been a lot of research on BPA. BPA is a plastic additive that resembles estrogen. The body thinks it is estrogen and reacts to it similarly. The battles over whether or not BPA is harmful continue. Added to those are the marketing of BPA-free and estrogen-activity free plastic products. BPA-free is not necessarily the same thing as estrogen-free. Substituting something else for BPA that still activates estrogen receptors is not going to help anyone very much.
You can get BPA-free products pretty easily now. But you should be looking for estrogen activity free products.
Phytoestrogens, BPA and Estrogenic Chemicals.
Unfortunately plastics are not the only source of estrogenic chemicals. Estrogenic compounds are now frequently found in water supplies. Possibly from pharmaceuticals in sewage. Such pharmaceuticals include birth control pills. Pharmaceutical estrogens have been found in waterways at concentrations that appear to alter the development of fish.
Phytoestrogens are estrogenic compounds found in plants. A correlation between intake of plants high in phytoestrogens and behavioral changes in male monkeys was just published in the journal Hormones and Behavior. That is interesting because most concerns with estrogenic compounds and behavior have focused on exposures that occurred to offspring while their mothers were pregnant. Many of these studies found an increase in aggressive behavior in females. Maybe the ban on drinking and driving should include a ban on drinking from plastic bottles.