January 7, 2009

BPA

Plastic Baby Bottles — Are back in the news as concerned parents weigh the conflicting reports about the chemical, bisphenol-A (BPA), that’s in many clear, rigid plastic baby bottles and formula cans. More than 90 percent of Americans have traces of BPA, which mimics the hormone estrogen, in their bodies, so Canada did not over-react by banning this chemical in baby products.

To play it safe, avoid plastic with “PC” for polycarbonate or the recycling number “7.” Avoid warming food in such containers, since heat can release the chemical. Instead, use safe alternatives such as glass or bottles labeled “BPA-free.”

5-14-09 update:
Minnnesota just became the first state to ban BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups and Chicago the first city to take this action. As of Jan. 1, 2010, neither Minnesota nor Chicago will allow the sale of products containing Bisphenol A if the product is intended for any child under the age of three.

WHY? Look at this news from today: Advocates for new regulations have yet another new study to highlight the need for change. When 77 Harvard student volunteers drank cold liquids from baby bottles for just a week, the levels of Bisphenol A detected in their urine rose 69%. The Harvard University and Centers for Disease Control Prevention study was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Environmental Health Perspectives. Their conclusion, stated simply: "One week of polycarbonate bottle use increased urinary BPA concentrations by two thirds. Regular consumption of cold beverages from polycarbonate bottles is associated with a substantial increase in urinary BPA concentrations irrespective of exposure to BPA from other sources."

Time to stop drinking from my favorite insulated cups?