There’s continuing controversy surrounding the safety of plastic baby bottles. The concern is that the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) can leach from plastic baby bottles made from polycarbonate plastic, posing a potential health risk to infants. The same chemical is found in many other products — especially food and drink packaging (like some reusable polycarbonate water bottles).
According to the FDA and the American Chemistry Council, bisphenol A is safe for use. But an independent panel of scientists has criticized the FDA’s stance on BPA safety, insisting that more attention be paid to infant exposure.
The National Toxicology Program issued a report in September 2008, expressing concern about the effects on the brain, prostate gland, and behavior in fetuses, infants, and children. In animal studies, BPA mimics the effects of estrogen.
While there is no hard evidence to prove the ill-effects of BPA on humans, it is always best to err on the side of caution. To reduce your infant’s exposure to BPA, try the following:
- Look for safer baby bottles — either tempered glass bottles or plastic baby bottles made of safer plastics like polyethelene or polypropylene (recycling symbols 2 or 5).
- Some plastic products may have labels saying they are free of bisphenol A. Products that do contain BPA are not required to list the chemical on the label.
- Don’t heat breast milk or infant formula in plastic baby bottles.
- Don’t microwave plastic containers with baby food or milk.
- If you use formula, opt for powdered. Many formula cans are lined with a BPA resin and liquid formula is more readily contaminated than powdered.
Feature image from the daily green.