promotional BPA-free bottles

What Is BPA and Are BPA Products Safe?

What Is BPA and Are BPA Products Safe?

Exploring the ins and outs of BPA and BPA products.

Let’s set the scene: You’re at this year’s biggest trade show in your industry. You are working at your company’s booth and feeling great about sharing the latest products and advancements in your field. Potential customers come up to ask questions and grab a free branded water bottle.

One particular customer picks up that branded water bottle and asks “Do you know if this is BPA-free?” Your mind races – is it BPA-free? Should it be? What even is BPA? When you finally answer, “I’m not sure…” the potential customer puts the bottle back, gives a quick thanks and moves on to the next booth.

This scenario may not happen often but it is a concern on the mind of many consumers these days. BPA has made the headlines in the last decade because plastic drinkware and food containers can cause health problems. 

Consumers worry whether their everyday plastics carry the chemical without much knowledge on what BPA is and if BPA products are safe. Today, we will discuss “what is BPA?” and how you can effectively choose the right promotional products to suit your company’s needs while considering the health and safety of your consumers.

A woman outside with a plastic water bottle

What is BPA?

As often as we have heard of BPA, few of us know what it actually is. Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to manufacture polycarbonate plastics used for items such as sports bottles, food-storage containers and metal food can liners, along with thousands of other products.

How Can This Impact Us?

BPA leaches into the foods we eat and the beverages we drink pretty easily over time — that’s how it ends up in the body. BPA exposure tends to happen more when plastic items are old, damaged or have an increased temperature, either through microwaving or being left in a hot vehicle. 

The unique thing about BPA is that it acts like a synthetic estrogen, disrupting hormones in the body. This can negatively impact our natural endocrine rhythms, creating health problems such as early puberty or cancer. 

One of the significant concerns with BPA is how it affects infants and children — studies suggest that it can impair certain developmental milestones and contribute to disorders such as ADHD. Babies and young children are more at risk because they metabolize the chemical slower compared to adults. 

Are BPA Products Safe?

It can be challenging to determine if BPA products are safe to use — and while we have access to many BPA-free products, the chemical can still be found in thousands of products today. 

A 2003-2004 CDC study of 2,517 participants, six years and older, found that nearly all tested had BPA in their system. This shows that a high number of the population has been exposed to BPA, but not all of these individuals have health concerns. Still, the impacts of low exposure to BPA are inconclusive, unfortunately. 

The main take away when it comes to using BPA products safely is to never microwave or leave plastic containers in hot places. It’s also best to wash these items by hand rather than the dishwasher. Finally, if a plastic product is scratched or damaged, that means it’s time to dispose of it. It’s also important to remember that these items impact children the most – so looking for BPA-free products will be the best choice for your little ones. 

BPA-Free Promotional Product Options

After learning more about BPA and the potential effects of the chemical, it makes sense why companies should be wary when purchasing their promotional products. Thankfully, there are many BPA-Free options for drinkware and food storage.  

BPA-Free Plastic Promotional Products

It’s comforting to know that there are many BPA-free plastic promotional products available. In fact, any plastic labeled as a 1, 2 or 5, is considered BPA-free. These plastics are not manufactured with the Bisphenol A chemical and could be a safer alternative. When shopping for your next promotional drinkware, check the specifications to see if the bottle is BPA-free

Glass Promotional Products

Glass is a great option for going BPA-Free. It is inert to liquids and gasses, meaning it won’t leach chemicals into food or water. The only issue with glass drinkware is it can be less durable than plastic and stainless steel.   

Stainless Steel Promotional Products

Stainless steel is the way to go if you are looking for durable drinkware that is BPA-free. Stainless steel bottles and food containers will not leach chemicals, even when scratched or heated. It has been advised that when shopping for stainless steel items, to find containers that do not have plastic lids – these lids are more than likely made with BPA

Eco-Friendly Promotional Products 

One great advantage to the materials listed above is that there are sustainable drinkware and food storage options. You will find that many eco-friendly promotional products are made from recycled plastic, glass or stainless steel. 

Getting to Know Your Products

Now you know more about BPA products and what materials serve as BPA-free alternatives. You can feel confident at the next trade show that you have thoughtfully chosen promotional products safe for your consumer. Trust us when we say your customer will remember that awesome stainless steel or glass bottle they receive!

At Pinnacle Promotions, we value the product journey – from the vendor to print, to you and, finally, to your customer. We want to provide the best experience possible. That’s why we have a variety of branded drinkware and BPA-free promotional products to ensure that you and your consumers have a safe brand experience. 

It’s like what Holly Ringle, the Director of Business Development with Pinnacle Promotions, says, “It’s exciting to see organizations take consumer safety into account when choosing their promotional products. Being mindful of product selection is a thoughtful reflection of the brand, which translates into trust between the consumer and the company. It’s a win-win, overall.”
Are you looking to get advice or ideas on BPA-free promotional products? We can build you custom Ideakits™ with detailed product suggestions to ensure you choose the best BPA-free products for your customers or employees. Contact us at 877.300.2007 for more information!

Posted by Chrissy Petrone, 0 comments

Promotional BPA-Free Bottles: A Must-Have for California Residents with Children

Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that prohibits the sale of any baby bottles or cups that contain more than 0.1 parts per billion of bisphenol A (BPA). With the bill scheduled to take effect in July 2013, consumers will slowly start seeing more BPA-free bottles on the market – and not just in the state of California. Connecticut, Maine, Maryland and Minnesota have similar bans in effect.

Continue reading →

Posted by Admin in Current Events News, 0 comments

The Not-so-Diet Diet Soda

At an American Diabetes Association meeting this past Sunday, researchers announced that while diet sodas may be free of calories, they are not free of health risks.

In a study held by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, researchers followed the health of 474 diet soda drinkers for 10 years. After the testing period came to an end, they found that the participants who drank diet soda increased their waist size by 70% more than those who completely avoided low-calorie and calorie-free soft drinks.

What concerned the authors even more were the health risks they found to be associated with drinking diet sodas. Previous studies have suggested that chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other health risks may be directly correlated to an individual’s waist size. In hopes of supporting this claim, the UT Health Science Center research team tested the correlation between diet soda consumption and diabetes in mice. They found that the mice that consumed food laced with aspartame (the sweetener in some diet sodas) had higher blood sugar levels than the mice that ate normal food, which means that the artificial sweetener aspartame could very well contribute to the development of diabetes in humans, too. Continue reading →

Posted by Admin in Current Events News, 0 comments

Promotional Products and Proposition 65

We all know California tends to be a bit on the progressive side compared to the rest of our nation – having been the first state to legalize gay marriage, the first to ban the distribution of plastic bags, and, perhaps a bit lesser known, the first to initiate a law requiring businesses to include warning labels on all products containing hazardous chemicals (a list of more than 700), as well as prohibit companies from discharging these substances into drinking water sources. This law, commonly termed Proposition 65, and formally titled the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, came about from growing public dissatisfaction in the 1980s regarding what they perceived as a lack of effort on the part of the state government to protect its citizens from exposure to certain toxics, in particular from those companies who knowingly produced products that included an unsafe amount of these chemicals.

While the Act has good intentions, seeking to protect consumers, it is important to note the use of many of the chemicals that it deems are hazardous to our health is not prohibited by national government agencies including the FDA. Additionally, though it cited that the chemicals listed are those that are “known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity,” in reality, many of those listed only have the potential to pose these risks under certain circumstances and based upon certain interpretations of scientific data. An example of this is one prominent case that occurred in 2006 when California Attorney General Bill Lockyer and Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo sued Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, alleging it used lead-based paint on bottle labels imported from Mexico. In reality, the lead content present in those bottles was negligible. Dr. F. Jay Murray, a toxicologist and a founding member of the Proposition 65 Science Advisory Board even stated regarding the lead content in the Coca-Cola bottles, “In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency says you could drink 10 times as much lead in drinking water and be safe. Many consumers in Los Angeles and around the state actually drink tap water with higher levels of lead than are in these beverages.”

Regardless, the law has made a big impact on business, including within the realms of the promotional products industry, and beyond just within the borders of the State of California. Companies throughout the country that manufacture promotional products are either being met with high costs of reformulating products or repackaging them to include the proper warning labels, and those that do not contain the proper warning labels have the potential to receive penalties as high as $2,500 per violation per day, or facing serious threats to the future public perception of their company in the midst of media-frenzied lawsuits – hundreds of which, like the Coca-Cola suit, have been brought about by private consumers throughout the past two decades. Due to a combination of fear of these possible consequences, a lack of monetary funding needed to make the necessary changes to products, and concern that customers outside the state of California who are not aware of the details of Proposition 65 will be led to believe that their products are truly unsafe based upon the warning labels, many promotional products companies have decided to stop distributing their products to California altogether.

At Pinnacle Promotions, we offer many custom printed promotional items that are Proposition 65 compliant, such as our promotional BPA-free bottles. If you are a company in California, or a company that will be distributing any of your purchases to the state of California, simply let your Account Manager know and they will make sure the products you choose adhere to all Proposition 65 guidelines.

For more information about Proposition 65, and to see the entire list of prohibited chemicals, you can visit the State of California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment website at

Posted by Admin in Recycled Promotional Products and Green Initiatives, 0 comments