Some people are very health conscious and it is important to them to have as minimum as possible exposure to environmental toxins. One way people are exposed to toxins is through the use of plastics. Polycarbonate plastic, which is clear, is used to make many products such as baby and water bottles, internal coating of cans, kitchenware, dental fillings and sealants, eyeglass lenses, CDs and DVDs, household electronics, medical and dental devices and sports equipment. Kettles are a frequently used household item and can also contain plastic. This article will explore the effects of exposure to plastic, the ways plastic gets inside the body and the best no plastic electric kettles.
Adverse health effects
In September 2010 Canada became the first country to declare bisphenol A, also known as BPA, a toxic substance. BPA is used to make polycarbonate plastic. Experts found that average levels of BPA in people are above those that cause harm to many animals in laboratory experiments.
Bisphenol A is a known endocrine disruptor, mimicking the body’s own hormones which may lead to negative health effects. 2007-2010 studies on humans revealed that high levels of BPA in the body increased the risk of coronary heart disease, recurrent miscarriages, oxidative stress and inflammation in postmenopausal women, externalizing behaviors in two-year old children, altering hormone levels in men, declining male sexual function, ovarian dysfunction in women. It was found that immune and nervous systems may not be functioning properly due to BPA exposure.
In addition to human studies, studies of low exposure in lab animals found that BPA predisposed cells to cancer, adverse neurological effects and other negative effects.
Ways plastic gets in the body
The most common way BPA gets in the body is through ingestion of foods that came in contact with it. BPA leaches into food and drink through lining in cans, when acidic or high-temperature liquids are poured in plastic container, by microwaving food in plastic containers, by putting plastic containers in a dishwasher or using harsh detergents. Infants and children are estimated to have the highest intake of BPA because of BPA containing baby bottles and liquid formula sold in polycarbonate bottles. (As of 2009 some companies stopped using BPA in production of baby bottles. Some counties banned baby beverage containers made with BPA). If a mother is exposed to BPA breast milk may also contain BPA which can transfer to the baby. High concentrations of BPA are also found in thermal paper, which is used for receipts, airline and cinema tickets, labels. The BPA residue from thermal paper transfers to fingers and can possibly be ingested. Carbonless copy paper also contains BPA.
Best plastic free electric kettles
People consume a lot of water and it is important to keep water as clean as possible and BPA free. BPA can transfer to water through the use of kettles. Some kettles are made 100% out of plastic and those are the ones you want to avoid. I prefer to use kettles with minimum amount of plastic – stainless steel electric kettles. Some of these kettles have little parts made of plastic, but it is good as long as those parts do not come in contact with water, especially when water is heated.
Evaluating plastic content in the kettles featured on this site:
Breville SK500XL model contains a very small plastic part through which water goes through to the water-level window.
Breville BKE820XL – two very small plastic parts connecting with the water-level window
Breville One Touch Tea Maker – is BPA free
Cuisinart KUA-17 – has a plastic water level reminder which is removable
Cuisinart CPK-17 – the only non-steel component this kettle has is a silicone nub near the bottom, which is heat-resistant
Krups BW500 – even though it is a sturdy and easy to fill with water it has plastic parts – underside of the lid, water level window and spout are plastic. It will work well for those not concerned with plastic.
Chef’s Choice – water is poured through a plastic spout
In some of these models a spout has a mesh screen with some plastic in it, but the mesh screen can easily be removed. This way the hot water will not be poured through some plastic.
For people who have no tolerance for plastic in kettles the best choices would be: Breville One Touch Tea Maker and Cuisinart KUA-17 . These are no plastic electric kettles that can be used worry-free.