Posts Tagged ‘Toddler Health’

Did the plastics industry write the FDA’s report on BPA?

I found this article awhile back saying the FDA’s report on the safety of BPA, released in August, may have been written by the folks at the plastics industry, who obviously have a large stake here.

MILWAUKEE, WISC.; October 23, 2008 (WPVI) — A government saying that bisphenol A, a controversial chemical in plastics was safe came largely from research supplies by the plastics industry.

In a special report, writers for the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal say the FDA’s own documents say most of the work was prepared by major stakeholders in keeping bisphenol A, also called BPA, on the market.

That includes Stephen Hentges, executive director of the American Chemistry Council’s group on bisphenol A, who commissioned a review of all studies of the neurotoxicity of bisphenol A and submitted it to the FDA. The FDA then used that report as the foundation for its evaluation of the chemical on neural and behavioral development. The American Chemistry Council is a trade group representing chemical manufacturers.

The FDA’s report, which came out in August, said concerns about BPA were unfounded. It is used in baby bottles, water bottles, the linings of infant formula containers, dental sealants, eyeglasses, and inside food cans.

One month later, advisers from the National Toxicology Program – an FDA advisory panel – came to the opposite conclusion – that there is cause for concern on how BPA affects fetuses, infants, and children, as well as how it affects development of the brain and prostate gland.

A congressional committee is now investigating the August report, and the FDA’s links to the plastics industry. The agency had been criticized before for using industry figures to make its case for BPA’s safety. The FDA has promised to do an independent study on BPA safety, but that has yet to be done.

Bisphenol A has been detected in the urine of 93% of those tested.

Last weekend, the Canadian government officially declared BPA as a toxin, and banned its use in baby bottles and children’s products.

Numerous university studies on BPA using lab aninmals showed the potential for serious health effects.

A government committee is currently analyzing the initial FDA report finding no harm. Its report is due out on in Washington next Friday, October 31st.

/end article

Additionally, there was a report earlier this week that one of the top FDA officials reviewing the BPA case accepted a bribe from the plastics industry. 

The good news is there are folks in the US who are taking action.
- Attorneys general of 3 states have written letters to 11 companies asking them to ban the use of BPA in their products. This includes popular bottle and formula makers.
- The Environmental Working Group continues to study BPA in formula and issue the findings so parents can choose safer formulas.
- Blogs by concerned parents are helping spread the word and providing parents with lists of BPA-free options so they may choose safer products for their children.

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FDA ruling on BPA Flawed

So I am a little late posting this. But in a Washington Post article on Oct 29, several scientists and government agencies state the FDA did not take into consideration all the evidence regarding the safety of BPA. An except from the article states:

“In a highly critical report to be released today, the panel of scientists from government and academia said the FDA did not take into consideration scores of studies that have linked bisphenol A (BPA) to prostate cancer, diabetes and other health problems in animals when it completed a draft risk assessment of the chemical last month. The panel said the FDA didn’t use enough infant formula samples and didn’t adequately account for variations among the samples.”

This is no shock to say the least, but it is very, very troubling that the government agency who is supposed to protect consumers from toxins, sides with the plastics industry time and time again. The studies ignored in the FDA’s assessment reaffirms that BPA has no place in infant products, or in any other form that would ever come in contact with foods and beverage.

Canada has declared BPA a hazardous substance and has banned BPA in baby bottles.   Retailers including Target, Wal-Mart and Babies R Us have promised to stop selling baby bottles containing BPA.

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Canada says BPA is toxic; bans baby bottles with BPA

Canada is the first country in the world to declare BPA a toxic substance. What does the FDA say? They claim it’s safe, of course! Though last week, several articles alluded to the fact the FDA may have been bribed in coming to the conclusion BPA is safe. I have to still post that article, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, read more about the ban here.

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BPA free bottles, sippy cups and food storage

Updated 2/10/10

Most parents are ready to pull their hair out trying to find BPA-free products for their kids. So I have compiled a cheat sheet to help you wade through the large selection of bottles, sippy cups, storage containers, snack cups, etc.

If you are aware of a BPA-free bottle or sippy that is not on the list, please let me know and I will add it. That said, this may not be a comprehensive list as new products are released all the time. Additionally, please be aware that Avent, Dr. Brown’s, Nuby, Gerber and others DO have products made of polycarbonate plastics and therefore NOT BPA free, so please choose wisely. I hope this relieves some concerns or helps you select products that are considered safe.

BPA FREE BOTTLES
Adiri Natural Nursers 
Avent: Avent “Via” disposable bottles, Avent BPA-free bottles, Avent Tempo Liners 
Babisil Silbottles 
BornFree – All bottles and cups BPA free (9oz bottle, 5 oz bottle) *see note
Dr Brown’s: Glass Bottles (all vent system pieces BPA Free), Dr. Browns Polypropylene bottles
Evenflo: EvenFlo Glass bottles, Classic Tinted Polypropylene bottles
Gerber: Gerber Clearview, Fashion Tints (also called “Plastic Pastels”), Gerber GentleFlow
Green to Grow Bottles **see note
Innobaby Silicone Bottle

Medela: All bottles (newer version, standard bottles)
Munchkin Dora BPA Free bottle 
Momo: Momo Glass Bottles, Plastic Wide Neck Bottles, Silicone Bottles
Nuby: Standard Neck Non-Drip Bottle, Wide-Neck Non-Drip Bottle, Wide-Neck Bottle with Handles and Non-Drip Nipple, Standard Neck Bottle with Handles and Non-Drip Nipple, 3-Stage Wide Neck Easy Grip Feeding System with Non-Drip Nipple, Silicone Bottle
Nuture Pure Glass bottles 
Parent’s Choice Bottles (available at Walmart)
Playtex: Original Nurser, Opaque Soft Bottle (discontinued), Playtex Drop in liners
Sassy: MAM bottles (UltiVent), Baby Food Nurser Kit 
Siliskin Glass Bottles 
ThinkBaby Bottles (Whole Foods carries these as well)
Thermobaby glass bottles
Tommee Tippee Easyflow Bottle to Cup
Weego Glass Bottles

BPA FREE SIPPY CUPS
Avent Magic Cups 
Boon Sippy 
BornFree sippy/drinking cups
Evenflo: Fun Sip Insulated Spill-proof Cup, Fun Sip Insulated Straw Cup
Kleen Kanteen

Gerber: Sip & Smile Spill-proof Cup, Easy Grip Insulated Soft Straw Cup, Insulated Cool Cup, Gerber® Fun Grips® Cup, Gerber® Fun Grips® Color Change Cup, Grins & Giggles Spill-proof Cup, Gerber® Sip & Smile™ Cup 
GrowPure Multi-Stage Feeder and Sippy Cup 
iPlay Aqua Bottle
Kid Basix The Safe Sippy 
Munchkin: Cupsicle, Cupsicle Straw Cup, Big Kid Sippy Cup, Mighty Grip Flip Straw Cup, Mighty Grip Trainer Cup, licensed character Sports Bottles, Re-usable Straw Cups, Re-usable Spill-proof Cups 
Nuby: No-Spill Sports Sipper, Insulated Soft Silicone Spout Cup, Soft Spout Easy Grip Cup, Gripper Cup with Soft Silicone SpoutTinted Mega Sipper, 7oz Tumblers
Playtex: Coolster Tumbler, Insulator, Einstein Sip & Discover Training Cup, Sipster, Create My Own, Quick Straw, Insulator Sport, Sip and Discover, First Sipster, Einstein Sip & Discover Insulated Straw Cup
SIGG Toddler Water Bottles (new version, bronze inner coating contains BPA, new version does not)
The First Years: Take & Toss, Spill-proof Cup, Insulated Cup, Licensed character sippy cups, Insulated Spill-proof Cup, 2 Handled Cups
Thermos Foogo Sippy Cups, and FUNtainer Straw Bottles
ThinkBaby Training Cup 
Tommee Tippee First Cup, Easiflow Cup, Easiflow Insulated Cup, Easiflow Open Cup, Tip It Up CupLansinoh Bottles (all)

BPA FREE MILK / LIQUID / POWDER STORAGE
Ameda Mother’s Milk Storage Bags
Avent Via 8-oz. Nurser Kit 
Avent Snack Cup / Formula Dispenser 
Baby Cubes 
Bailey Milk Storage Bags (Nurture lll pump tubing BPA Free as well)
Bailey Storage Bottles (as well as all parts of their “double collection kit”)
Dr. Brown’s Breastmilk Storage Bags
Gerber Breastmilk Storage Bags 
Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags 
Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bottles 
Mother’s Milkmate Storage bottles, and storage rack with 10 bottles 
Medela Milk Storage bottles (also have a 2.7 oz bottle) and breastpump accessories 
Munchkin Powdered Formula Dispensers
Playtex Breastmilk storage kit 
Sassy Formula Dispenser
The First Years Easy Pour Breastmilk Storage bags

Sensible Lines Milk Trays

BPA FREE BABY FOOD STORAGE
Baby Cubes 
BornFree Thermal Food Jar
First Years Take and Toss snackers 
Gerber bunch of bowls
Laptop Lunch System
Munchkin: Baby Food Grinder, Fresh Food Feeder
So Easy Fresh Baby Food Kit, and additional trays 
Thermos FUNtainer stainless steel food container

BPA FREE SNACK CONTAINERS
Boon Snack Ball
Munchkin: Snack Catcher, Snack n’ Serve Cups, Snack Dispenser
RazBaBY formula and snack dispensers 
Snack Trap 
The First Years: take and toss snack savers, 6 pack of snack cups 

** Dr Browns bottle nipples fit with Green to Grow bottles. As we know once a baby is comfy with something it’s sometimes a pain to change so it’s good to know we don’t have to change everything if we don’t have to. Alicia of The Soft Landing did a more exhaustive report on what nipples fit what bottles. Read about it on her blog here.

Visit Z Recommends for product reviews on many of these BPA-free products. They have done an outstanding job of researching and reviewing these products.

What is Bisphenol A?
Bisphenol A is a harmful chemical found in polycarbonate plastic which is used to make many popular baby bottles and sippy cups, among other things. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that mimics the action of the human hormone estrogen, which alters our body’s natural pattern. BPA can leach from polycarbonate plastic, usually a hard, clear plastic that is common of many products we use everyday. Effects at even low BPA exposure include prostate cancer, breast cancer, early puberty onset, alterations in gender-specific behavior, decreased sperm count, affects on fertility, behavioral effects including hyperactivity, increased aggressiveness, impaired learning and other changes in behavior, and other problems.

Many companies use this chemical in their packaging including cans, soda cans, and plastic food containers. There is a risk of absorbing this chemical through the use of containing foods and liquids but can also leech into our water systems through landfills.

Many leading experts argue that the use of Bisphenol is safe to the human public but research may begin to further prove otherwise. No level of BPA has been deemed as safe by independent research.

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Doctors urge FDA to restrict cold and cough medications for children under 6

Last year the FDA recommended children’s cough and cold medicines not be given to children under 2 because it posed significant health risks. All cough and cold medications with dosage for the under 2 category were recalled. Additionally last year an outside panel of FDA experts said these medicines should not be given to children under 6. However, at the time no action was taken to further restrict product labeling.

Now doctors are expressing their concern and urging the FDA to reconsider and further limit companies from providing cough and cold medicines for the under 6 age group.

Over the past few years, stories have hit the mainstream about infants and young children having serious complications with OTC cough and cold medicines. A few have resulted in death. Also, many of these parents were following instructions from their pediatricians. Granted some administered improper dosages, but not all did, which raises concern.

Not surprisingly, the drug industry is maintaining the cough and cold medicines are safe for children over the age of 2. (I am sure they don’t want to lose anymore money, even at the expense of our children’s health.)

More and more doctors are advising against the use of OTC cough and cold medicines. And let’s be honest, we all know there is no cure for the common cold anyway. These doctors are pressuring the FDA to reevaluate and raise the age limit for which they can provide dosing instructions on their packaging.

Parents however do hate to see their child miserable with a cold and unable to sleep due to a cough. There are some safe and natural things you can do to make your child more comfortable, without the use of OTC medication. This is what I have done in the past – this includes for myself as well! (Disclaimer: I am not doling out medical advice. I am not a doctor.)
1. Use a humidifier – the moist air will your child breathe easier and keep him from coughing as much.
2. Put baby Vicks on his feet and cover with socks – sounds odd, but it works let me tell you!
3. Keep your child well-hydrated. Water is best.
4. It may help to put a little lotion on his face, especially the nose area, to keep it from getting dry and cracked.
5. If your child is old enough, they can sleep on an extra pillow, if not, place a rolled up towel or a pillow under the mattress to help elevate their head and allow the nose to drain so they can breathe easier.
6. I have also used some of Hyland’s products, like the C-plus cold tablets and Honey Cough Syrup. (Remember NEVER give honey to a child under the age of 1).
7. NEVER, EVER give your child a cold medicine made for adults.
8. If you do feel your child needs medication, ALWAYS call your pediatrician prior to administering any OTC medications. They can ensure you can safely give a medicine to your child and confirm the correct dosage amount for your child’s age and size.
9. And certainly, and most importantly, call the pediatrician and speak to the nurse or make an appointment if you feel this is more than the sniffles or you need reassurance.

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Warning on baby Orajel

Chinese milk scandal widens

This just gets worse and worse. The Chinese milk scandal has spread basically to anything made with any milk product whatsoever. Baby cereal, baby food, even those made by Heinz, has been tested and has confirmed unacceptable levels of melamine. Bread, cookies, crackers, chocolates, cheese powder made for Pizza Hut are on the growing list – all found to have unacceptable levels of melamine.

This is so troubling – 4 infants have died, more than 50,000 infants are sick, and too many of those have acute kidney failure. Now a mother and her children from Taiwan have kidney stones from eating tainted Chinese products while in the country. Even baby zoo animals have fallen ill after being fed the tainted milk.

While the FDA is close watching all import, please people, read the packaging to see where the product was made. If it was made in China, don’t buy it or eat it!! The list of contaminated food products grows daily. I am just all out boycotting ANYTHING made in China. Many toys, clothing items and shoes have been recalled for lead, food has been tainted with melamine. They obviously have no value on human health, so I have no faith or value in anything coming out of that country. And even US companies who manufacture their products in China really have no control on what actually goes on in their factories and it’s quite obvious by the number of recalls that they do not independently test for lead once the finished product his US soil.

Please read this press release for an update on what products are known to be contaminated today – of course that list is likely to grow by tomorrow.

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Silicone bottles: the latest in BPA-free bottles

I had heard about a silicone baby bottle and thought, what in the world is that? So I Googled it (like I do everything!) and it sounds very interesting! The Innobaby Silicone bottle is derived from safe, natural ingredients like pebbles and sand and grow with your baby. This bottle will be available January 2009.

In poking around, I saw on The Soft Landing blog that Momo is also coming out with a silicone baby bottle in October, so just a few short weeks. And Nuby is coming out with a silicone bottle in January 2009 as well.

Check back and I will post when these are available and where to buy.

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Which Sassy products are BPA-free?

Sassy recently cleared up which of their products were BPA-free and which were not. Previously they had claimed certain products did not contain BPA and turns out some of them did. So which ones really are safe?

Unfortunately, Sassy does not have a great list on their website like other companies do. Hopefully they will step it up and add this soon. However, The Soft Landing has created a list of safe, BPA-free Sassy products and posted it here.

Sassy products can be found at most discount retail stores or shop online for the best selection.

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What Nuby products are BPA-free?

The Soft Landing has created a cheat sheet that sorts out the BPA chaos over Nuby’s products. I know trying to figure out which of their products are BPA-free or not has been a headache for many parents, including myself. I called them regarding which were BPA-free and which were not, and I swear the lady seemed just as confused as anyone. Thanks to the Soft Landing for helping sort this out! You can check it out here.

Nuby products are easy to find at most discount retail stores, baby stores and can be purchased online for the best selection.

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Which Munchkin products are BPA-free?

It’s difficult as a parent to just go to the store and buy a sippy cup, bottle, or other feeding device these days due to the potential the product contains BPA. Fortunately manufacturers are becoming wise and creating lists clarifying which products contain BPA and which do not. Munchkin has such a list on their website which can be found here.

Munchkin products are great in my opinion. I have never had a problem with any of their products I own. And they can easily be found in most discount retail stores (Target, Wal-Mart, Babies R Us, etc) or you can stay home and shop online and get them sent right to your door!

 

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