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Plastic baby feeding bottle safety

Bisphenol-A is an ingredient in many plastic bottles including feeding bottles, but is it safe for your baby or not?


Posted: 26 September 2008
by Debra Stottor


Bisphenol-A: the debate continues…

What is BPA (bisphenol-A)?
It’s a controversy that’s been raging for years, and yet again there’s been more conflicting news about bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical that is present in many baby bottles. It’s also present in DVDs, computers and home appliances, spectacles and lenses, reusable water bottles, medical equipment and construction materials, paints, as well as in linings for food and drink cans.

Why is BPA considered to be dangerous?
A recently published study showed that people with high levels of BPA were more likely to have heart disease, including heart attack, or diabetes, a risk that increased by 39% in people with high levels of BPA.
Born Free Bisphenol-A free bottles
In addition, higher BPA concentrations were associated with abnormal concentrations of three liver enzymes. No one in this study had BPA urine amounts showing higher than recommended exposure levels, said co-author Dr David Melzer, a University of Exeter researcher. He said, "These findings add to the evidence suggesting adverse effects of low-dose BPA in animals. Follow-up studies are needed to confirm these findings and to provide evidence on whether the associations are causal."
Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at the Yale University School of Medicine, said. "The correlations are there. There is more diabetes and more heart disease in people with more BPA, but people who are eating a lot of things out of cans and water bottles are going to have higher BPA in their urine, and they're probably not eating the healthiest diet, so you might expect them to have diabetes and heart disease."
These findings come on top of previous reports that BPA can act like the hormone estrogen, and that it is linked with breast, prostate and reproductive system problems and some cancers.

So is it safe in bottles for my baby?
Meanwhile, BPA continues to receive official approval.
In April 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration said that BPA was "safe and that exposure levels to BPA from food contact materials, including for infants and children, are below those that may cause health effects." This was followed in July this year by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) stating that food contact materials such as polycarbonate plastic baby bottles and drinking bottles and epoxy resin-coated food and drink cans are safe for their intended uses.
If you’d prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to your baby’s health, there are a few simple steps you can take:

  • Avoid hard polycarbonate plastic - which contains BPA. Instead, use bottles made of glass, or plastics made of polyethylene, polypropylene, or polyamide. Brands that carry these include Born Free (www.babybornfree.co.uk) and Mam (www.mamonlineshop.com).
    Lansinoh (www.lansinoh.co.uk) produces a BPA-free breast pump.

  • Look for recycling number 7 - Avoid plastic containers imprinted with the recycling number 7, as these contain BPA.

  • Discard any bottles that are cloudy or scratched - as chemicals leach into food more easily when plastics break down.

  • Don't heat plastic bottles in the microwave –  or wash them in the dishwasher as heat degrades plastic, releasing chemicals.

  • Don’t pour boiling water directly into a plastic bottle - as heat promotes the leaching of chemicals.


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Discuss this story

Where can a compleate list of BPA free baby feeding equiptment(spoons, plates, storage as well as bottles and pumps) be found

Posted: 01/10/2008 at 12:38

I don't really understand this article. If I cannot put the plastic bottle in the microwave or pour boiling water into/over the plastic bottles, how would I sterilise them in the microwave or sterilise using the boiling water method, i.e. 5 minutes in boiling water?

Posted: 15/10/2008 at 14:12

Hello, The Mindful Mum safe baby product website helped me choose BPA free bottles. I used this comparison table of UK BPA free bottles. I now use glass at home and bpa free platic when travelling. I actually like the glass best, its easier to clean and definitely safer than plastic.

Posted: 17/10/2009 at 17:45

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