Cost-Effective Storageware

Cost-Effective Storageware
While we all use storageware in our kitchens, some types can be harder on your budget in the long run. So, what's the most cost-effective and safe option? Let's do a comparison.

When it comes to the price, plastic storageware beats glass hands-down. However, that lower price doesn't mean quality. Plastic degrades much quicker over time than glass, especially if you're constantly heating up your leftovers.

Additionally, recent studies have shown that most plastics, even BPA-free ones, can secrete harmful chemicals into your food when heated. With glass, you won't have those risks. In fact, it's the only packaging material that's generally regarded as safe by the FDA.

Next, we have the food-spoilage factor. Since plastic is more porous than glass, food tends to go bad faster in these containers, and that's just more money down the drain. Over time, plastic also tends to absorb the smells and color of food since it's so permeable.

So, while glass may be a bit more costly up front, it's a much better long-term investment. The next time you have to buy storageware, choose this budget- and eco-friendly option.

Dangerous Plastics:The BPA Problem
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Cost-Effective Storageware -- Savings Experiment
Rodent studies of bisphenol A, used in polycarbonate bottles, food cans and other products, have linked the synthetic estrogen to a host of human diseases. Scientists say the chemical can alter cell behavior at very low levels -- in the parts per trillion range -- yet humans are consistently exposed to BPA at levels 10 to 100 times greater.

Click through our gallery as USA Today shares why more and more U.S. retailers are giving BPA the boot.
' Article: The Toxic Legacy of BPA

First Slide: Which Products Have It

BPA is found in the resin in can linings, in the polycarbonate in baby bottles, in dental sealants and elsewhere. The longer a liquid sits in a container made of BPA, the more BPA can leach into the product.

Next: The Worst Leaching Occurs ...

As we wash polycarbonates such as baby bottles in hot water or heat them in the microwave, more leaching of BPA can occur. The hotter the liquid in a container, the more BPA can leach. The older the container, the more BPA can leach.

Next: Who's Most at Risk

Scientists say fetuses and infants are especially at risk because they are still developing major parts of their body and BPA can alter how their genes are activated. In experiments that looked at the reproductive systems of rodents -- which scientists say are comparable to humans -- doses similar to what a newborn would ingest from a bottle caused cells to divide at a faster rate and led to enlarged prostates and, eventually, prostate cancer.

Next: Adverse Health Affects
Some medical conditions that have been associated with BPA in rodents:

' Early onset of puberty
' Obesity
' Diabetes
' Hyperactivity
' Breast cancer
' Impaired immune function
' Sperm defects
' Prostate cancer and disease
' Impaired reproductive development

Links between BPA and prostate cancer have only been shown in rats.
Next: How to Avoid BPA

BPA is found in polycarbonate plastic, including most shatterproof baby bottles and sports water bottles, toys, dental sealants, food cans and microwavable food containers. Some of these products are available without BPA. Consumers can also avoid any No. 7 plastic, which typically contains BPA.

Next: Retailers Take Action
Toys 'R' Us announced Monday that it will phase out bottles and other "baby feeding products" containing BPA by the end of the year. Wal-Mart last week said that it will stop selling baby bottles made with BPA by early next year.

Nalgene, which makes plastic water bottles popular with hikers, and Playtex, which makes a variety of baby products, also say they'll stop using BPA, an ingredient in polycarbonate plastic.

Next: Find BPA-Free Products

Stanford University pediatrician Alan Greene, author of 'Raising Baby Green', encourages parents to reduce their children's exposure to BPA. "I wouldn't use it for my children," says Greene, a father of four.

Check out the following link for a blog that keeps an up-to-date list of baby products without the chemical.
' Blog: Z Report on BPA

Next: An Opposing View
The American Chemistry Council, an industry group, notes that BPA has been used safely for decades and is an important ingredient that makes plastics flexible and shatter-resistant.

And Rick Locker, an attorney for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, says parents can be confident that products made with BPA are safe. Locker notes that the Food and Drug Administration has not found that BPA poses a risk to children.

On AOL: Retailers in Trouble
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Shoppers Spy Trouble

Have you entered a retailer's store lately and wondered how they are staying in business? Maybe it was the lack of fellow shoppers or the state of the store's displays that made you think the store was in trouble. We asked AOL users to tell us which stores they would not be surprised to see shut their doors for good. We culled through over 5,000 responses and came up with these common and/or interesting observations.
View Gallery:Retail Stores in Trouble

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