Are Cheap Water Bottles Affecting Your Health?

Learning to avoid plastics that contain Bisphenol A or BPA seems like a daunting task. By taking a few seconds to read the label and finding out what recycling code it has labeled on it can make all the difference.

Why is BPA bad?

Bisphenol is an endocrine inhibitor.

OK let’s break this down a little further, in layman terms; it interrupts the processes of the endocrine system.

What is the Endocrine System?

The endocrine system is a series of gland and organs that produce hormones that control vital functions of your body.

Just to name a few glands and organs that are related to the endocrine functions are:

Thyroid
Stomach
Liver
Pancreas
Kidneys
Skin
Heart
Bone marrow
Testes
Uterus

Every major function of the human body is tied to the endocrine system.

You will not be shocked when I tell you that BPA contamination has been linked to Diabetes which affects the Pancreas

Should this information be alarming and scare this piss out of you?

Absolutely!

The Food and Drug Administration have you focused and worried about how many calories and grams of fat are in items rather than the raw ingredients and secondary contamination.

Now that you know a little bit more about toxic BPA let’s discuss the types of plastics that are manufactured.

There are 7 codes that are used in describing plastic types, which are numbers 1-7.

Type 1

PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)

Used for making single use containers for common items such as soda bottles, single use water bottles, electrolyte replacement drinks, food jars as well as cosmetic containers.

Type 2

HDPE (High density Polyethylene)

HDPE is used to make many common items that are heavily used such as grocery bags, milk, and juice containers.

Type 3

PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)

PVC is used to make items such as Garden Hoses, Rain Jackets, Window frames, meat wrapping, and water pipe.

Type 4

LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene)

You will find this product to be used to package bread, heavy duty bags, squeezable plastic bottles and food wrap.

Type 5

PP (Polypropylene)

Medicine bottles, cereal liners, straws and chip bags are commonly used with PP.

Type 6

PS (Polystyrene)

They use this world wide and you find it all the time on the side of the road as foam food containers, egg cartons, and plastic cutlery. This stuff just doesn’t go away and isn’t’ recyclable.

Type 7

Other PC (Polycarbonate)

This is the group where they label stuff they don’t have a category for but common items are Baby bottles, water coolers, car parts, etc.

Which Types should you avoid?

Limit your exposure to plastics types 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7 whenever possible.

Avoid types 3 and 7 at all costs.

Join us in celebration of “Boycott BPA Week” in March.

Mysteries of the Medicine Cabinet – How and When to Properly Dispose of Old Medication

Medicine cabinets tend to bring out the packrat in most of us. Once we’ve gone to the trouble and expense of a doctor’s appointment or a trip to the pharmacy, we find it hard to part with anything remaining in the bottle when we feel better.

Is there anything wrong with keeping those three Hydrocodone tablets left over from your root canal last year? How about the cough syrup your daughter’s pediatrician prescribed this winter? Even if you don’t need it, how should you dispose of it? Dealing with it seems like so much trouble, we’d rather just close the door and forget it.

Location, Location, Location

Real estate isn’t the only business where location matters. Whether you’re dealing with prescription or over-the-counter medication, storage location is important. According to Heidi Kallivayalil, PharmD., Ambulatory and In-Hospital Practitioner, one of the worst places to store medications is the bathroom medicine cabinet. The steam and humidity from the sink and shower produce moisture that can seep in and cause drugs to degrade.

Unless special storage instructions are given, medications should be kept in a cool, dry place. Consider using the linen closet or a kitchen cabinet that’s located away from the stove and sink. You should also avoid storing medications in the refrigerator unless instructions specifically say so. Refrigerated air is too damp for most medications. If refrigeration is required, placing the bottle in an opaque plastic container on a high shelf helps to keep it out-of-sight.

A cabinet or box with a lock on it is a good idea for homes that have young children or teenagers. According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 64 percent of kids between the age of 12 and 17 who have abused pain relievers say they got them from friends or relatives, typically without their knowledge. Even over-the-counter and non-narcotic medication can be dangerous when mixed or in the hands of children. Locking up medication doesn’t mean we don’t trust our kids; it’s just one more way of keeping them safe.

Also, be sure to store medication in the original container with the name and expiration date on the label. “Some medication can be affected by light,” says Kallivayalil, “that’s why prescription medication comes in amber-colored bottles.” Resist the urge to transfer pills to a smaller bottle or to combine even the same medication into one bottle. If you end up with multiple medications in the same container, they can be difficult to identify and risky to take.

Ann Greene, a pharmacist at O’Steen’s Pharmacy in Jacksonville, says she is occasionally asked to play detective by identifying medication that has been transferred from a prescription bottle to a daily or weekly pill reminder case. “Usually, it’s a family member that transfers the pills,” says Greene. “When you’re dealing with generic medications, the color is sometimes changed. Clients will be used to taking a pink pill and then the color is changed to orange. We note this on the bottle, but if a pill has been transferred to another container, it can cause confusion. I have seen cases where it leads to double dosing. The client actually takes the pill in the reminder case and also the familiar pink pill from the bottle.”

Take or Toss?

Most of us have ended up with small amounts of medication left over from various illnesses. When this happens, it’s a good idea to get rid of it. Although most expired drugs aren’t necessarily harmful, they can lose their potency. It may be tempting to hang on to them to avoid a future trip to the doctor, but there are reasons why you shouldn’t.

Unless medication is prescribed on an as needed basis (which is common for pain killers and other medications needed intermittently) it’s important to take every dose. Not doing so can lead to complications. For instance, small doses of antibiotics may not destroy an infection, and eventually could cause bacteria to develop a resistance to that particular antibiotic, making it difficult to treat in the future. Dosage amounts are different for every medication, so it’s important to follow instructions closely.

Parents occasionally give medication prescribed for one child to another child. Sharing may be a good thing most of the time, but in this case it isn’t recommended. Even if children have the same illness, that doesn’t necessarily mean they should be given the same medication or the same dosage. Drug allergies are common, particularly with antibiotics. It’s best to let your physician determine what medication is appropriate for each illness.