Thursday, January 14, 2016

The test results I've been waiting for

Over the past few years, I've been happily trashing the research of Prof. George Bittner (here's a short summary), who has this ability to create chemicals in plastics that have estogenic activity (EA) and then claims as a result that the chemicals are in the original plastic and that consumers shouldn't use them. It's not all that different from "salting a mine", but just in reverse. That he owns 2 companies that perform such testing and then supply "EA-free" additives suggests a profit motive rather than this work being strictly academic.

Not quite a year ago, I posed this question:
"For the life of me, I cannot figure out why the researchers haven't run the simplest and most appropriate test of all. Take a bottle of Tritan or whatever other glassy plastic you are trying to skewer this year, wash it out with soap and water (like a normal consumer would before their initial use), fill it up with water and let it sit for 2 weeks. Let it sit in the fridge or let it sit in a car or let it sit up on the roof of the CCi building and then look for EA in the water. Just do something with it that a normal person would do instead of acting like that's not good enough."

Yesterday, I found out that someone has actually done just this! The researchers bought 20 reusable water bottles, put water in them, let them sit for 24 hours at 40 C (104 F) and then tested the water for BPA. Guess what? They found BPA in only one brand of bottles, a polycarbonate-based bottle that did not even claim to be "BPA-free".

Shocking results, huh? Pretty hard to argue with them too. It was the simple test that I have been asking for, the one that Bittner et al. never performed (or at least, never published the results if they did run it). A critic would comment that the water really should have been tested for EA, and with that I would agree. But at least we now have someone who knows how to run the test correctly.

Previous Years

January 14, 2015 - Monkey see, monkey do

January 14, 2014 - Finally a Commercial Phosphorus Polymer?

January 14, 2010 - A Viscoelastic Surface for People, too!

January 14, 2010 - Recycling Plastics

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