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Ask Umbra: So even BPA-free plastic is poisonous now?

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Send your question to Umbra! Q. In light of recent BPA-free-wait-this-stuff-is-worse confusion, what kind of water bottles can I drink from? I don’t trust myself with a glass Nalgene. Thanks, Hannah W. Cleveland, Ohio A. Dearest Hannah, Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water bottle … Out comes disturbing new research saying our new, safer plastics aren’t necessarily all that safe after all. So where can we turn to fulfill our hydration needs now? First, for those of you who don’t have a Google Alert on BPA, a.k.a. bisphenol A: The Center for Environmental Health recently released a study that looked at chemicals in several brands of BPA-free kids’ sippy cups. Nine of the 35 cups tested contained significant amounts of estrogenic chemicals similar to BPA – seven of which actually measured higher for estrogenic activity than products with BPA. This joins a 2011 study finding that most plastics leach synthetic estrogens, even those labeled BPA-free, and even without exposure to stressors like microwaving, dishwashers, or UV light. What gives? Didn’t we solve this dangerous-hormones issue a few years back, when the FDA banned BPA in baby bottles and kids’ cups and manufacturers switched en masse to BPA-free plastics? It seems we owe this out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire situation to the fact that legally, chemicals are considered safe until proven otherwise. With BPA out, companies may have turned to untested replacements – some of which are now coming up positive for hormonal activity. I don’t blame you for wanting to chuck all your plastics, Hannah. The FDA’s official position may be that low levels of BPA are OK, but plenty of other scientists dispute the agency’s recent research. Given the health issues implicated with synthetic hormone exposure, I think the time-tested “better safe than sorry” plan is a prudent one. Luckily, I do have a few solutions for you. One, you could tote a stainless steel bottle, long a favorite option for the plastic-wary because they’re durable and recyclable. Though breakable, a glass water bottle is also a good, nontoxic bet, and you can slip a silicone sleeve over it to guard against butterfinger moments. A third option might be an aluminum bottle with a BPA- and phthalate-free liner, but given the choice, I’d still opt for steel. As long as you’re ditching plastic for all on-the-go drinking needs, I think you’re in good shape. Hydratedly, UmbraFiled under: Article, Living

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Karl Rove loses it after Fox guest calls Chris Christie report a ‘whitewash’

Republican strategist Karl Rove on Sunday accused a Fox News co-panelist of a personal “attack” after he called an internal investigation that cleared New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) for closing the busiest bridge in the world for political retribution a “whitewash.”…

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SNL: Reluctant ‘Obama’ struggles to repeat social media success of ‘Between Two Ferns’

The opening skit of this week’s episode of Saturday Night Night lampooned the Obama Administration’s last-minute efforts to get young people to sign up for Obamacare. The skit begins with “President Obama,” played by Jay Pharoah, praising the effort of his social media guru…

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Priest tells Fox News: ‘Noah’ movie left out God and will ‘pay for it dearly’

A Catholic priest, who is serving on the Archdiocese of New York, and also employed as an analyst by Fox News, has warned that people associated with the movie “Noah” will “pay for it dearly” because they had used the word “creator” instead of God. Fox News host…

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Enrollment milestone called ‘proof of concept’ by Obamacare supporters

By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s embattled U.S. healthcare law, having survived a rollout marred by technology failures, reaches a milestone on Monday with the end of its first enrollment wave, and with the administration likely to come close to its goal…

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Taiwan stages massive anti-China trade pact rally

Tens of thousands of Taiwanese protesters took to the streets in Taipei on Sunday in a bid to pressure embattled President Ma Ying-jeou to retract a controversial trade pact with China. The protesters, many wearing black shirts and headbands reading…

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Documents reveal secretive Hollywood group’s shady donations to conservative politicians

Before Republican Senator Ted Cruz flew to Los Angeles to speak to Hollywood’s secretive right-wing organization, Friends of Abe (FOA), Cruz suggested to the Hollywood Reporter that IRS’s reluctance to immediately ordain FOA as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-free charity was a left-wing government…

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Climate change threatens to wipe out Latin America coffee crops – and farmers

Under the coffee bushes, Rosibel and Benjamín Fijardo are on their knees, scraping carefully through a litter of dead leaves and dried mud. They are scavenging for stray coffee berries, fallen when the harvesters went through the plantation last week. After 20 minutes, Benjamín has a plastic cup…

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Piers Morgan closes last show with parting shot at NRA for ‘bullying this nation’s politicians’

CNN’s Piers Morgan closed his final show for the network thanking his viewers, but he didn’t end it without taking a shot at one his biggest adversaries: the NRA and the gun culture that they promote. Morgan began his closing remarks thanking his staff and the network for the…

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NM GOP rep fires new press secretary over tweet about Jews going ‘up in smoke’

Seventy-two hours after Rebekah Stevens had been introduced as communications director for Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., the congressman asked for, and received, her resignation after fall-out from her Twitter account became too large of a distraction for his office, according to the Albuquerque…

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Hundreds of children abandoned by smugglers en route to US: Mexico

Authorities in Mexico said Saturday they found more than 370 children dumped by people smugglers while trying to make their way into the United States. The National Institute of Migration (INM) said the huge number of children, from different nations in Central America, were discovered in just a…

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Florida couple arrested, facing charges for starving and torturing their eight children

A Hillsborough, Florida, man and woman are in jail after police went to their home and discovered two of their eight children suffering from physical abuse and severe malnutrition after being denied food by the couple. The mother, Jamie Hicks, 43, has been charged with two counts of aggravated…

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US, Dutch men arrested attempting to deposit billions in fake bonds in Vatican bank

Vatican police on Saturday apprehended an American and a Dutch man who were trying to deposit billions of euros and US dollars in fake bonds in the Vatican bank. The men were stopped by the police when they approached one of the guarded gates at the Vatican and asked to be let through to the…

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New U.S. guidelines could put most Americans on cholesterol-lowering drugs

Nearly every male and most women over 55 could fall under new US guidelines for who should take cholesterol lowering drugs, researchers said Saturday, stirring fresh controversy in the medical world. If applied to a group of 5,000 otherwise healthy people over that age in The Netherlands, 96…

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Video game makers blame ‘Satan’ for inability to launch Biblical role-playing game

The makers of a Biblical role-playing game that follows the life of Abraham are blaming their lack of success and inability to fund the project on the influence of Satan. Speaking with Polygon, Richard Gaeta, co-founder of Phoenix Interactive explained the company’s problems starting cropping…

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Scientology laid bare in ‘America’s Book of Secrets’ tonight with Raw Story editor’s help

Tonight on the H2 network, the third season of America’s Book of Secrets opens with what should be a controversial episode: The show has talked to dozens of former members and experts to reveal the secrets of Scientology. One of those experts was Raw Story executive editor and Scientology…

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Copenhagen zoo continues to cull animals: ‘necessary part of keeping a healthy population’

Even the first sunshine of spring is not enough to prevent the lion enclosure at Copenhagen zoo from looking forlorn. One female lion lounges on a branch basking in the rays, while the other lolls on the dusty ground beneath her. Otherwise the pen is empty. “They’re shifting around the…

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More than 100 aftershocks follow Los Angeles 5.1 earthquake

(Reuters) – More than 100 aftershocks have been reported across Southern California following a 5.1 magnitude earthquake that rattled suburban Los Angeles and at least temporarily displaced about 50 people but caused no serious structural damage, seismologists said on Saturday. No injuries…

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