In more "materials that are bad for you" news, BPA, a chemical found in hard, clear plastics like baby and sports bottles as well as epoxy resin, is apparently something you should avoid.
In studies of laboratory animals...BPA changes play behavior, weakens gender differences, decreases sperm count, stimulates prostate cancer and causes ADHD symptoms.
As a designer, what do you need to know about this? With papers on the ills of BPA "being published at the rate of about one a day," manufacturers are getting hip to its dangers and are coming up with alternatives; if you're in a position to spec out materials, you may want to have a look at these.
These [safer alternatives] include glass baby bottles instead of polycarbonate ones -- the Glass Packaging Institute recently reported a surge in demand for these -- and natural resin for lining cans instead of epoxy. Japanese manufacturers started using natural resin in 1997, and two years later a study found that BPA levels had gone down significantly.
As a consumer, what do you need to know? Don't put polycarbonate plastics in the nuke or the dishwasher; heat makes the BPA leach out of the plastic, and into you, faster. Read all about it here.
via la times