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mattscottoline
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Joined: 9 Oct 2011
Posts: 7
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Feb 7, 2012, 8:16pm
Subject: Question on Aeropress materials (regarding BPA content)
 

So, this past christmas I received an Aeropress as a gift. It was essentially the last coffee mechanism I had yet to own, and it's very cool.

Being kind of health conscious, I wondered almost immediately if the plastic would leech BPA. The aeropress I was given came from Amazon, and was the grey-blue tinted color.

Doing some googling, I found that a lot of information said Aerobie switched to the more clear, BPA free models. No longer tinted blue. This happened in 2009.

So, I even called the company to confirm, and was told the same thing. They were even surprised amazon sold me a blue grey one.

We ended up sending the aeropress back, in hopes of buying a clear one on amazon. Ended up getting a blue grey one again. Tried once more, and still, blue grey.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and I was at the coffee common event in NYC.  When I saw the baristas there using the blue grey aeropress, I posed my situation to them, and was told by two baristas that they heard aerobie switched BACK to the grey blue, which was now BPA free.  I told them what the company had told me, and generally speaking, everyone was very confused.

Have any of you heard anything? Any information? I suppose I could call aerobie again.  I just want clarification.
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derevaun
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derevaun
Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 112
Location: Olympia, WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Shoes and wallet
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Roaster: My neighbor's Diedrich
Posted Wed Feb 8, 2012, 12:20am
Subject: Re: Question on Aeropress materials (regarding BPA content)
 

I don't have any new info, but I would caution about the meaning of the phrase "BPA free." Does it mean that the plastic doesn't leech BPA above a particular threshold, or does it mean that BPA is not a part of any of the manufacturing process?

Alan Adler, the inventer of the Aeropress, reported on these forums that the original polycarbonate Aeropress was tested and found to not measurably leech BPA. Aerobie switched to a dfferent plastic anyway. It was a smart move, IMHO. I don't have the training or experience to judge how significant the "measurably" part is, or that the testing was independent of commercial bias.

Sigg made the mistake of claiming that their lined aluminum water bottles were BPA free based on similar findings, and their public image was seriously damaged when it turned out that the popular meaning of "BPA free" is that BPA isn't used in the manufacture at any point, while their use of the phrase simply meant that the polycarbonate lining in their bottles didn't leech BPA over a threshold.

IMHO, if one chooses to err on the side of caution regarding BPA, then any material that uses BPA in its manufacture is suspect until the scientific consensus is that BPA is not a health issues at all. So if an Aeropress is made of polycarbonate that involves BPA in its manufacture, it's not BPA free in a meaningful sense, IMHO, though it may well be tested to the extent that testers couldn't find a way to get it to leech enough BPA to measure. Who gets to define "BPA free," public consumers or the plastics industry?

It could be that Aerobie switched back to the polycarbonate Aeropress (there were some concerns with the new plastic cracking under pressure), and are describing it as BPA free based on the fact that it has been thoroughly tested not to leech BPA by some measure. Alan's description of the testing methodology was pretty convincing (a search of this forum would turn it up). I still wouldn't invest my and my children's reproductive health in it, until the scientific consensus is that BPA is not a health risk.

Since Aerobie say they haven't switched back, it might be that Amazon has some old stock. I wouldn't be surprised if the old version is preferred by baristas, due to the danger of cracking. It's a mystery!
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,949
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Feb 8, 2012, 6:29am
Subject: Re: Question on Aeropress materials (regarding BPA content)
 

I have two of these, one is a clear with a light bluish tint and the next is a darker, smoke brown color. The clear one is about two years older than the smoke colored one.

As of the date of this post, I still only have 10 fingers one head and one nose and mouth. When I sprout extra fingers or an extra leg, I will let you know but so far, I have used both without any ill effects.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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diggi
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diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Halifax, NS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2
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Posted Wed Feb 8, 2012, 6:33am
Subject: Re: Question on Aeropress materials (regarding BPA content)
 

Mine is new within 3 months or so from a local distributor (fresh supply) and it is smoke brown.
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Netphilosopher
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Feb 8, 2012, 6:39am
Subject: .
 

.
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mattscottoline
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Joined: 9 Oct 2011
Posts: 7
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Feb 8, 2012, 6:50am
Subject: Re: Question on Aeropress materials (regarding BPA content)
 

So I guess the consensus is that nobody is really sure.

Maybe I will try calling Aerobie again with all of my new stories and see what they say.

Thanks for the insights.
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jbviau
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jbviau
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
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Grinder: Preciso / LIDOs
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Posted Wed Feb 8, 2012, 7:07am
Subject: Re: Question on Aeropress materials (regarding BPA content)
 

Which Amazon vendor did your Aeropress come from? So many of these have been (and continue to be) sold that I'd be surprised to hear old stock is still lying around "new in box."
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BadElf
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Joined: 8 Feb 2012
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Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
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Espresso: Inova
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Posted Wed Feb 8, 2012, 7:16am
Subject: Re: Question on Aeropress materials (regarding BPA content)
 

Interesting question. The real problem is that the FDA doesn't want to regulate anything because they are friends of the big food industry. So "BPA free" probably means not enough to get you immediately sick. Big companies don't have to tell you that you're eating genetically modified foods and no one knows what the long term effect of that is. Thirty years from now, someone's going to figure out that you got stomach cancer because of all the food from Monsanto seeds that you ate.

Personally, I use mine for travel, especially camping, because the clean up is so easy. And anyway, I'm already old enough not to care. But yeah, if I were young and were going to use this everyday, I'd think twice about it. I try to buy organic, non-gmo when it's not outrageously priced. On the other hand, everything kills lab rats eventually, right?

Let us know what you find out.
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AlexTennant
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Joined: 2 Feb 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Palo Alto
Expertise: Professional

Posted Tue Feb 28, 2012, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: Question on Aeropress materials (regarding BPA content)
 

The original AeroPress coffee makers were made of a clear but slightly bluish polycarbonate.  Laboratory tests done by an independent lab that were sensitive down to 2 parts per billion were completely unable to detect BPA in coffee brewed in a well used polycarbonate AeroPress.  Nevertheless to completely eliminate any perception of risk, we switched in August of 2009 to manufacturing the AeroPress out of a BPA free copolyester.  BPA free means the material does not contain any BPA.  

Since August of 2009, every AeroPress manufactured has been made of the BPA free copolyester.  The copolyester is a completely clear material.  Initially the AeroPress coffee makers made of copolyester were completely clear.  Near the end of 2010, we started adding a gray tint to the copolyester.  

Most retailers that sell the AeroPress coffee maker receive frequent shipments from Aerobie, Inc.  Amazon receives weekly shipments.  It is hard to imagine an old polycarbonate AeroPress from over two and a half years ago still sitting in a retailer's inventory.  

I hope this clarifies the AeroPress material question.

Alex Tennant, General Manager, Aerobie, Inc.
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 4,571
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
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Posted Tue Feb 28, 2012, 2:04pm
Subject: Re: Question on Aeropress materials (regarding BPA content)
 

calblacksmith Said:

I have two of these, one is a clear with a light bluish tint and the next is a darker, smoke brown color. The clear one is about two years older than the smoke colored one.

As of the date of this post, I still only have 10 fingers one head and one nose and mouth. When I sprout extra fingers or an extra leg, I will let you know but so far, I have used both without any ill effects.

Posted February 8, 2012 link

+1.  Same here.  Although I have noticed lately that my nose hairs grow so darned fast.  Dagnabbit!

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

Bitcoin Merchant www.CoffeeRoastersClub.com     www.javaPRO-CRC.com
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