Are Kettles BPA free?
As I strive to find out more information about my small home appliances. I start to wonder about the quality of the materials that I use daily.
Once again, my old electric kettle peaks my interest.
Its old, its plastic, theres not much too it and I'm about to throw it out.
But then, the question dawns on me.
Are kettles BPA free?
Well, I did a small bit of research and found out the following.
Depending on the quality of the kettle, the manufacturer may choose to use BPA plastic. In most high quality brands, this is not an issue and the internal plastic will have minimal contact with the water inside the unit. However, it best to check the label of your kettle to find out if its BPA free or not.
If your kettle isn't labeled, keep in mind that some but not all plastics marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.
What is BPA?
I used to hear about how many of our day to day plastic items were potentially harmful. That these plastic items were somehow dangerous and nefarious in nature.
Amongst all the scaremongering and click baiting on the dangers of BPA. I wanted to know exactly what it was.
The best explanation that I found was from Mayo Clinic.
They stated that:
BPA stands for bisphenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s.
BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles. They may also be used in other consumer goods.
What I took from this, is that the BPA free label means that the product does not contain bisphenol A, a synthetic compound which seems to associated with a wide range of health problems.
The use of BPA in plastic products appears to a cost cutting tactic. For manufactures of plastic goods, this would be the cheapest option to mass produce a wide range of cheap plastic products.
The fact that BPA is used to harden plastic would indicate that it's likely to be used in a huge range of products.
BPA is a chemical that has been used to harden plastics for over 40 years. It looks like its more or less everywhere.
There is a list of common products that contain BPA. Check it out here.
BPA is among the most widely used chemicals in the plastics industry, found in everything from metal containers to lunchboxes and the linings of tin cans such as salmon or tuna.
It's used in the inside lining of these containers to prevent the metal corroding.
It appears that another common worry is the use of BPA in plastic containers for lunches.
Most of the focus of BPA products are around items that are used frequently, namely plastic lunchboxes and water bottles.
The worry from these products stems from the idea of BPA getting into the food your eat or the water you drink.
This makes it quite relevant to electric kettles. After all, if the water inside a unit comes into contact with BPA plastic such as the inner lining of a kettle it could be a legitimate concern.
What is the safest tea kettle material?
From the information I found out about BPA, it would make sense to start looking at materials of kettles that would avoid the use of this plastic chemical.
For the most part, nearly all stove top kettles avoid this issue.
Stove top kettles are kettles that tend to be used on gas cookers, stoves and fires.
They are typically made of very strong materials. Materials such as cast iron, copper and aluminium to name a few.
But what about for electric kettles?
Well from what I've researched, It is generally regarded, that stainless steel is the safest tea kettle material. Not only does it avoid the issue of BPA plastic but its also the most effective at conducting heat.
In addition to this, stainless steel kettles do not release a smell when boiling. This is in contrast to some plastic electric kettle brands where the use of cheap plastic can have an adverse effect when mixed with boiling water.
As well as being safe, stainless steel kettles are attractive and easy to keep clean. They can also fit into the aesthetic of a kitchen a lot easier than their plastic counterparts.
They are often quite cheap, and can provide a good value for the money.
Although it depends on the brand of kettle it would seem that stainless steel kettles are not at risk of BPA. Without any plastic on the inside, there isn't much chance of any BPA related chemicals being present.
Is boiling water in plastic kettle safe?
This is probably the most fundamental question when it comes to BPA and kettles. From what I've gathered, a lot of the concerns of BPA might be small bit hyperbole.
However, this doesn't make it an invalid concern but rather how safe does it make boiling water in plastic kettles?
The general consensus seems to be that as long as you go with a BPA free branded kettle, that you most likely will be in the clear.
However, there might be other considerations of boiling water in a plastic kettle.
Cheaper brands, that may still be BPA free, have the potential to melt being consistently exposed to high temperatures. This is very avoidable, although this might not be the situation for people who don't have access to more established brands.
Some kettles like this can be problematic if the leaching of plastic materials occurs.
However, the fact that many of these products go under the scrutiny of quality control. This is more reassuring.
I was able to look at the basic quality control process of electric kettles.
The plastic materials are prepared, tested and examined for any defects. This includes but not limited to discolorations, scratches, wear and tear etc.
Electric components of the kettle are meticulously examined in the factories where they are produced. The last quality check, consists of each tea kettle being plugged in and tested before it is packed for the purchase of you and I.
If you wanted more information on the hardware components of a kettle I'd recommend of checking out this madehow article.
There will always be concerns about devices that function around what we eat or drink. It's understandable that there may have been a time where the cheapest of materials were used for mass production.
I can only speak from what I've researched. But there seems to be significantly more regulations in production of electrical goods than there was 40 years ago. (which is when BPA was started to be used with plastic)
I really think that if you purchase recognisably good quality brand of kettle that the risk of BPA plastic is minimal.
Obviously, the chance of BPA plastic is completely nullified if your purchase a labeled BPA free device.
However, I understand that this isn't in the price range for everyone.
If you are still in doubt, go for a different material. Stainless steel kettles seem like a great option and its not worth stressing over an item that you will be using to consume water daily.
Not taking BPA into account, I personally prefer to use kettles that aren't made from plastic. I usually can taste the difference and I much prefer the weight of the heavier material.
Not only that but the handling of these heavier made units give the impression that something is less likely to leak. However, that completely anecdotal.
It was enjoyable researching about BPA and its effects and we hope this was useful to you.