The dangers of BPA in baby bottles

A segment aired on Sixty Minutes in early June called The Toxic Truthwhich highlighted the dangers of plastic and BPA (or Bisphenol-A) being used in production of plastics. This bought into the mainstream media an issue which has long concerned many parents and has renewed calls for Australia to ban the use of BPA in plastic baby bottles and other plastic items.



What is BPA?

Bisphenol-A or BPA is a chemical used to produce polycarbonate plastics which is used in transparent drink bottles, infant feeding or plastic baby bottles, food storage containers and tableware (mugs and plates).

BPA is also used in produce epoxy resins which are used to make protective coatings and linings for food and beverage cans.

What has BPA in it?

In general, when you look at bottom of a plastic container and the number inside the recycling symbol – those numbered 1,2,4 and 5 are unlikely contain any BPA. Some (but not all) containers with 3,6 or 7 may contain BPA. The number “7” is a tricky one as it is considered “other” so it is best to avoid these unless the product is specifically labelled “BPA Free”.

Dangers of Plastic and BPA

BPA is an endocrine disrupter which can mimic the body’s own hormones, in particular oestrogen. This has been linked to a wide range of severe health issues such as breast, uterine cancer and other cancers, increased risk of miscarriage, reproductive abnormalities and decreased testosterone levels. It is also believed BPA can cause obesity, early puberty in children and diabetes amongst other issues.

Babies fed with infant formula are most at risk because one of the most common uses of BPA is in the production of plastic baby bottles. When the bottle is heated it increases the amount of BPA leached into the milk.

For more information on the studies conducted you can read this article from Scientific American

To date, Canada, the European Union, China and Malaysia have become largely BPA free and banned BPA from certain items. There are also certain local and state governments in the USA that have banned BPA as well.

Environmental Impact

Of course, plastics containing BPA contaminate the environment like all plastics, in particular in the form of ocean borne plastic trash.

But there have been other studies and research into the effects of BPA on aquatics organisms, most notably, fish. BPA has been shown to affect reproduction, impair development and increase abnormalities in fish, molluscs, amphibians and crustaceans. It has even been linked to unbalanced gender population (eg significantly more females than males) in fish.

Tips for Keeping Your Family BPA free.

  • Naturally, avoid all baby and other plastic products containing the recycling number 7 unless they specifically say “BPA free.” To be completely sure, use glass bottles to feed your baby.
  • Use stainless steel, glass or BPA free bottles when drinking water and fill from the tap or water filter instead of using plastic bottles or cups.
  • Buy fresh fruit and vegetables from your local farmers markets and avoid pre-packaged produce wrapped in plastic.
  • Choose fresh, frozen or dried foods instead of buying in cans.
  • Make sure you check all of your storage containers such as Tupperware and only use ceramic or glass in the microwave or to freeze baby food.
  • Have a look at www.bpa-free.com.au, which is a great guide to Bisphinoal A free safe products in Australia.
  • All Eco Toys products are BPA free and we sell a range of glass baby bottles, stainless steel drinking bottles, kid’s lunchboxes and food containers. You can have a look at our range here.

 

 

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One Response to “The dangers of BPA in baby bottles”

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