Archive for the ‘Bisphenol A’ Category

BPA may linger in body longer than we thought

New research shows that BPA may linger in the body much longer than we previously thought. Researches thought BPA was purged by the body in 24 hours, but that was based on limited research.

BPA is everywhere: in PVC pipe, in polycarbonate drink containers, in the plastic that lines food and soft-drink cans, and even in dental sealants. It’s also in our bodies. Virtually everyone has detectable levels of BPA in his or her body.

Now there’s evidence that BPA might be in our water as well as in our food, and that it lingers in our fat tissues. If confirmed — and the current findings are very preliminary — it could mean BPA is a bigger problem than thought.

University of Rochester researcher Richard Stahlhut, MD, MPH, analyzed data on 1,469 U.S. adults from the CDC’s huge 2003-2004 NHANES study. That study gave fasting people one-time BPA tests, and also collected extensive dietary data.

“After 10 to 15 hours of fasting, there shouldn’t be anybody with any detectable levels of BPA,” Stahlhut tells WebMD. “But it just hangs there like the London fog. You do see a subtle downward trend, but what you don’t see is it falling off the map. And by 24 hours it’s still there.”

And FastCompany pulled this quote from the study.
Not wishing to weigh the argument unscientifically, the research paper even states that, “Whether BPA can cause human health effects is a matter of some debate; the potential for harm to infants and the fetus is currently considered more likely than harm to adults.” But the piece concludes: “In our data, BPA levels appear to drop about eight times more slowly than expected – so slowly, in fact, that race and sex together have as big an influence on BPA levels as fasting time.”

The study was not perfect, the subjects in the study could drink tap water, black coffee and diet soda (hopefully not from cans lined with BPA). However, there was more BPA detected in the body that still gives us reason to be concerned.

These findings suggests that BPA may linger in the body longer, or that BPA may come from other sources like tap water (where BPA leaches from PVC pipes). Another theory is that BPA may be stored in body fat.

This is interesting because BPA may play a larger role in disease that we thought.

A 2008 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that people with higher urinary BPA levels have more medical disorders. Another intriguing study from 2008 showed that BPA — at normal levels of exposure — disrupts a hormone involved in insulin sensitivity and diabetes. And a 2007 study showed that obese people are much more likely to suffer insulin resistance if they have high fat levels of organic pollutants.

“Imagine if what we think is caused by obesity is actually caused by persistent organics in the fat of obese people,” Stahlhut says. “If they don’t have the organics, they don’t have the diabetes. That would be huge.”

See my lists of BPA free items for children and some for mom too.
BPA free bottles, sippy cups and food storage
BPA and phthalate free pacifiers
BPA and phthalate free teethers and rattles
 
BPA free dishes, utensils, snack containers and food storage

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Sources
WebMD
FastCompany

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The Real Story Behind BPA

BPA mimics estrogen and phthalates block testosterone

This article sums up pretty much what we already know, but it does a good job of showing how BPA acts like estrogen and phthalates block testosterone. I did learn that BPA exposure to babies in the womb have a greater negative effect on girls than boys, causing more reproductive harm than I thought.

Mice that were exposed to BPA as fetuses developed abnormalities of the ovaries, uterus, and vagina, Dr. Taylor said. Other murine studies found genetic abnormalities in eggs, an increased risk of mammary cancers, and early puberty in females.

The list of problems was shorter for male mice exposed to the chemical, with reduced sperm production and increased prostate size at the top.

And for phthalates…

Studies in male animals have found reduced sperm production, undescended testes, hypospadias, decreased testosterone production, and reduced anogenital distance.

The chemical’s effects on female reproduction were far fewer, with murine studies linking it to delayed or premature puberty.

They touch on the FDA’s stance that BPA is safe, where the FDA states they did not have sufficient evidence. However, human studies would be difficult. For one, a human study on either substance would be difficult since the entire population is exposed to both chemicals. Also, subjecting humans to high levels of this stuff would be unethical.

“Sometimes you just have to make decisions based on ‘inadequate’ evidence,” Dr. Lustig said regarding the FDA’s investigation of BPA, and potentially phthalates. “You just [make them] based on the right thing to do.”

Amen to that.

Read the entire article here.

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See my lists of BPA free items for children and some for mom too.
BPA free bottles, sippy cups and food storage
BPA and phthalate free pacifiers
BPA and phthalate free teethers and rattles
 
BPA free dishes, utensils, snack containers and food storage

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The Real Story Behind BPA

The Real Story Behind Bisphenol A

How a handful of consultants used Big Tobacco’s tactics to sow doubt about science and hold off regulation of BPA, a chemical in hundreds of products that could be harming an entire generation.

I always liked FastCompany magazine. There are always great articles. Well, they have recently looked into the BPA controversy / debate as well and published an article here last week. They looked at both sides, the history, how the studies were done, what the FDA reviewed and who funded the studies, etc. Pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about the BPA issue. They interviewed several folks from both sides. It’s a very long, but very interesting read.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the article:
“The United States has a long tradition of keeping harmful substances — lead, DDT, tobacco, PCBs — on the market for decades after scientists find adverse effects.”

“Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, who has launched numerous investigations into the agency, contends, “The FDA has got to be a watchdog, not a business partner with industry.”

“If these low-dose findings were counterintuitive to toxicologists, they made perfect sense to developmental biologists. After all, BPA is a synthetic hormone. Any physician knows that at small doses, most hormones are extremely powerful in stimulating their target organs, while at higher doses — above a certain threshold — they can paralyze these same organs. (Testosterone powers the male sex drive, for instance, but at high doses causes impotence.)”

Very interesting indeed. I could pull more quotes, but then I may as well copy the whole article! They have uncovered what many of us already know – there is enough evidence that it may cause harm at any dose so it is best to just avoid BPA altogether. Retailers such as Babies R Us, Wal-Mart and Target had said they would stop selling polycarbonate baby bottles at the end of 2008 (though I have seen them on the shelves as of last week). Nalgene has gone to a BPA-free plastic water bottle as consumers demand a safer product and the FDA sits and takes money from the plastic industry and tries to convince us that BPA is safe when there are over 100 studies not funded by the plastics that claim otherwise.

BPA, or Bisphenol A, is a hormone-mimicking chemical found in plastic polycarbonate baby bottles, water bottles, dental filings, in the lining of canned foods, etc. Even at low doses it can affect the endocrine system. Learn more here

I have several lists with safer alternatives to polycarbonate plastics.
BPA free bottles, sippy cups and food storage
BPA and phthalate free pacifiers
BPA and phthalate free teethers and rattles
 
BPA free dishes, utensils, snack containers and food storage for kids

And I am finishing up my BPA free food storage list in between nursing my newborn, so please check back!

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Chemicals that could contaminate baby formula

Recently parents have been scared by melamine tainting baby formula, even in the US, but the Daily Green has a list of 5 chemicals that could be lurking in infant formula and offers tips on how to reduce your baby’s exposure to these chemicals.

Obviously, breastfeeding is the best way to avoid this situation, eventhough yes breastmilk can contain chemicals as well. But the many benefits to breastmilk far outweigh these risks.

The 5 chemicals that could be found in formula are BPA (from the lining of the metal cans); chemicals such as weed killer, pesticides, arsenic, etc. found in water that is used to mix the formula; manufacturing by-products; MSG; and genetically modified ingredients.

Simple solutions include using BPA free bottles and sippy cups for feeding and organic formula (such as Earth’s Best or Baby’s Only) in plastic (not metal) containers.

To read the entire article and learn more tips on how to protect your baby here

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Prince Lionheart Introduces Silicone baby bottle

In response to recent concerns over the BPA in plastic baby bottles, industry leader Prince Lionheart has released an innovative new product, Prince Lionheart’s Silicone Baby Bottles. The bottle is the world’s first pure silicone baby bottle for a safer way to feed baby.

“Prince Lionheart created a new feeding line using silicone, a natural substance that contains no chemicals and is 100% safe for babies,” said Kelly Griffiths, President and CEO of Prince Lionheart. “Now, parents who are concerned about the health of their babies have a safe and natural alternative to plastic baby bottles.”

Prince Lionheart has committed to using only those materials that are 100% free of BPA, Phthalates, lead and PVC in their entire feeding product line, thus making it the safe and smart choice for parents everywhere.

Read more about it here.

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FDA to continue to studies on BPA

Taking heat from, well everyone outside the FDA and the plastic industry, the FDA has stated they will continue to study BPA. Scientists and other government health agencies have linked BPA with health issues, stating infants are most at risk. But the FDA maintains it’s safe.

Blah, blah, same story different day. But I guess their “goodwill” gesture to continue the study on the substance is better than nothing.

Read the entire article here.

BPA Free dishes, utensils, snack containers, and food storage for kids

I have been working on this list for months. Giving birth, caring for a newborn and having a toddler to chase on top of that sure takes a lot more time. I know I need to answer a few questions too and will get to those as soon as I can. 

Here I have compiled a list of kids BPA free dishes, utensils, snack containers and food storage containers for kids.

DISHES (plates, bowls, tumblers)
Arrow Frostware Dishes and Bowls; Section plates, Sip-a-bowl, Sip-a-cup, Juice sipper, Tumblers, Bowls, plates 
Bany Cie 5 piece luncheon set 
BabyBjorn Plate & Spoon 

Baby Dipper bowl and spoon set
Bambu Kids Organic Bamboo Dishes, Bowls 
Boon: Groovy interlocking plate and bowl, Snack plateCatch bowl  
Camden Rose “Cheery” Wooden Bowl and Spoon set 
Correlle dishware (“unbreakable,” made of glass)
The Dombo cup 
First years: take and toss set, Double duty plates
Frostware: plates, bowls and tumblers 
Gerber: bunch of bowls with lids, Lil Trainer tableware Plates and Utensils, Divide and Dine Plates, Tossables Disposable Plates, Lil Snackin’ Bowl, Snap N’ Store Plates  
Green Sprouts Eco-Friendly cornstarch divided plates, cornstarch bowl, warming plate, Baby food mill, Baby food grinder bowl
Guyot Designs Squishy Bowl & Cup Set 
Gund Tender beginnings ceramic dish set pink  and blue 
IKEA: Kalas Plates, Bowls & Tumblers; MATA 4 piece Dinnerware set (frog, comes in 4 colors)  (note: IKEA’s other kid dishes are mostly made of melamine and another set has a polycarbonate cup)
Kidco Travel Dish with Spoon , Baby food mill
Land of Nod: Ceramic Kids Dishware

Little Tikes: 4 piece turtle mealtime set, Cozy Coup bowl with lid, Turtle Bowl with lid 
Munchkin: Multi Plates & Bowls, Toddler Plates, 3 Pack Stayput Suction Bowls, Stayput Suction Toddler Bowls  
Nuby: Wash or Toss Dishes, Snack Cup and Spoon, Microwaveable Bowl with Lid
ORE Originals Baby Face ABC Ceramic Dish Set (REALLY cute!)
Recycline 10” dinner plates, 7” salad platescups all made of polypropylene
Sassy: Less mess toddler feeding bowl, Feeding plate set, Warming dish, Perfect size snack cups, On-the-go feeding set, Feeding bowl set, Insulated feeding pots, NEW BPA-free line coming soon! 
Skip*Hop Mate Dish Set (note other Skip Hop dishes are made of melamine, so are BPA free, but the safety of melamine in dishware is debatable right now)
TreBimbi Dinnerware Sets: 6 piece Puppet Club  and 5 piece Party set    very cute and would make mealtime fun
Tupperware – all products marketed for kids are BPA-free, including Bell Tumbler Sippy Cups with Seals Set of 4, Divided Dish Set with Easy Grip Handle, Ideal Little Kids Bowls, set of 3, Feeding set for Kids 
Stainless Steel dishware 
Think Baby stainless steel feeding set 
Trendykid Stackable Steady Cup 
ZAK Designs  Many of the dinnerware sets are made of melamine.
 
UTENSILS
Bambu Kids Organic Bamboo Utensils 
Boon: Benders Fork & Spoon, Modware Toddler Utensils, Polka Dot Fork and Spoon, Squirt Food Dispensing Spoon 
First Years forks and spoons
Gerber: Infant Spoons, Toddler Spoons, Fork and Spoon Set, Graduates Kiddy kutlery (SO cute with fork, spoon and knife), Scoopin’ Spoons (my daughter loves these), Tossables Disposable Utensils
Green Sprouts Eco-Friendly Cornstarch fork and spoon, silicone toddler spoon
IKEA: Kalas 18 Piece Cutlery set 
Munchkin: Soft-Tip Infant Spoons
Nuby: hot safe feeding spoon, Nibbler, Easy grip fork and spoon set, Spoon and Fork with Soft Handle, Fun Feeding Spoons with Toys and Sounds,
One Step Ahead: My Very Own Flatware stainless steel (3 and up)
Recycline cutlery made of polypropylene
Sassy: Less mess feeding spoon, toddler feeding spoon, Teether feeder, travel case w/fork and spoon
TreBimbi Dinnerware Utensils
Williams Sonoma: Kids Stainless Flatware

SNACK CONTAINERS
Boon Snack Ball
Little Tikes 3 piece turtle snack set 
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

FOOD STORAGE – Baby
Baby Cubes baby food storage system
BornFree Thermal Food Jar
Gerber Bunch of Bowls with Lids
Green Sprouts Baby food grinder bowlsilicone freezer tray
MunchkinBaby Food Grinder, Fresh Food Feeder 
So Easy Fresh Baby Food Kit 
Thermos Food Jars  

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First Years introduces BPA free bottles

The First Years by Learning Curve has created a BPA-free version of their popular Breastflow and Soothie bottles.

The new Breastflow bottle comes in a starter set, a 5oz bottle and a 9oz bottle.

The bottle is also available with BPA, so please be careful when deciding to purchase this product. So far, Amazon and the First Years’ website are the only places I have seen the BPA free version available for purchase.

The Soothie Bottle is available in a starter set, a 5oz bottle and a 9oz bottle as well. It also comes in a BPA version, so be careful when purchasing, making sure it is clearly labeled BPA free. The bottles are available on Amazon, but I did not see on the First Years’ website.

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Non-Toxic Toys for Christmas

Safety First for Holiday Toys – USA Today

A USA Today article today discussed the challenge of finding safe toys this holiday season. The government recently passed a law which would ban some toxic substances from children’s products, however, the ban does not take effect until February 10, 2008, allowing retailers and manufacturers to sell off toys this Christmas Season that do not meet the new standards.

Unfortunately, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said they will allow toys containing phthalates, one of the newly banned chemicals that affects the reproductive system, to be sold indefinitely. (I find it ironic they have “safety” in their name when they make a decision like this.)

Luckily, many reliable toys manufacturers already meet these new standards, and wooden toys are making a comeback as well. You can see some of these manufacturers and a list of toys that are lead, phthalate and BPA-free here. Other companies, like Fisher-Price, can’t tell you which, if any, of their toys are free of any of these substances.

Shop smart! My list of non-toxic toys and my Amazon store are great places to start.

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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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