I am an aunt of a beautiful little boy and soon to be beautiful girl. Naturally my interest has started to turn to the health of my little nephew and niece. In recent news the FDA has decided not to ban BPA, which is a common chemical found in baby bottles. While chemical companies might be rejoicing I am grimacing at the lack of responsibility the FDA takes on.
There are many concerns about the safety of the chemical BPA in our products. So much concern that countries are taking action to eliminate it from the market. China, Canada, Denmark, United Arab Emirates and the European Union have all acknowledged the health risks of BPA. Eleven states in the US, not including my state of Oregon, have banned BPA from baby bottles and many are pursing further attempts to restrict the chemical from other containers we use.
What is it?
Bisphenol A also known as BPA is a industrial synthetic chemical that behaves like estrogen in the body and has some serious side effects. Cancer is among one of the concerns. The National Toxicology Program has found evidence that BPA could effect the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.
If you think that BPA doesn’t doesn’t concern you, you might want to consider this:
The 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found detectable levels of BPA in 93% of 2517 urine samples from people six years and older.
That is a significant finding. 93% of people had BPA had in their system, that is no small number. With a common chemical like that we should all be aware that it does exist and we should know where to find it.
BPA is found is resins and plastics that make up food containers, beverage containers, like water and baby bottles, plastic toys, metal products like food cans, baby formula cans, baby bottle tops, water supply lines, some dental sealants, and some thermal papers such as cash register receipts.
How does it get into or systems?
Research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers, like baby bottles, that are made with BPA or into your body when you handle products made with BPA such as cash register receipts.
In small children baby bottles, metal and plastic containers, plastic toys and pacifiers are sources. Five popular baby bottle brands: Avent, Dr. Brown’s, Evenflo, Gerber and Platex have been found to “leach enough of this developmental, neural and reproductive toxicant into the liquids that come into contact with them to cause harm in lab animals.”
Since BPA is still used in making baby products (and our products) the best thing you can know is how to limit your exposure to this chemical.
Here’s what you can do:
- Use glass or stainless steel bottles, especially baby bottles.
- If you have to use a baby pacifier use a BPA free one made of medical grade silicon.
- Opt for wooden toys without toxic paints or plastics.
- Avoid plastic recycle codes 3 and 7 (usually found at the bottom on a container). Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.
- Reduce your use of canned foods.
- When possible, opt for glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers, particularly for hot food or liquids.
- Check out Mighty Nest for BPA free baby items.