Posts Tagged ‘baby bottles’

Create an eco-nursery; County bans BPA baby bottles and Rubber mulch is toxic

Something new: Link Round up!

It’s difficult to post even weekly now with 2 kids and working full time, so I decided when I have several interesting topics at once, I will give a smaller summary and post the link to the article.

Eco-proof the nursery this is a great little article highlighting common concerns for today’s new parents (or new again). It shows how parents are concerned about the expense of raising a “green” baby and offers tips on how to go free for free or for very little money.

One NY County Bans BPA Baby bottles Hats off to them! I hope this catches on, though with manufacturers stopping the production of them and national retailers stopping the sale of them, bottles made with BPA will be hard to come by soon enough.

Rubber mulch is not non-toxic and contains metal fragments. And Obama just used it on his girl’s White House playground. Hopefully he will replace it. While it seems like a great idea to turn used tires into mulch for playgrounds and landscapes, it really is not non-toxic or safe for kids or the environment. Plus, rubber is highly flammable and difficult to extinguish once on fire.

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The Real Story Behind BPA

The BPA debate continues — Is BPA safe or not?

This topic has been a hot one in the last few months. I saw this article today and though it is not much clearer if BPA is harmful or not, it does seem to make a few pretty clear points.

First let’s back up. BPA is bisphenol A, a chemical found in polycarbonate plastics, the hard, clear plastics (labeled #7) used to make items like baby bottles and sippy cups, and also lines many metal food and infant formula cans. BPA is known to mimic the female hormone estrogen.

The article is long, though a good one at telling both sides. It is notable that most independent/government studies have shown adverse affects and industry tests have not. Who stands to lose something – the industry right? They would have to come up with alternatives if they found BPA to be harmful. Industry research does not hold much water with me.

The article does conclude though that BPA seems to do more harm in small quantities because hormones are released in small quantities, so the body responds accordingly. It also states that BPA appears to do the most harm during critical development times – during fetal development and during the first year of life. These small amounts affect organ development and may increase susceptibility to the development of cancer in some organs.

It also states :
“Early life exposure to environmentally relevant BPA doses may result in persistent adverse effects in humans.”
“The function of the immune system can be altered following adult exposure to BPA.”
So, while there is still no clear cut answer on the effects in humans (these tests were done on lab rats), scientists certainly see a need for further studies, especially during critical development periods.

The NDP in Canada also has called for a ban on BPA in children’s food and beverage containers. California has explored a ban as well.

Because studies do show harm and the harm was found after the subjects were given a low-dose of BPA, I am going to continue to avoid it. There are safer bottles, sippy cups and fresh food instead of canned food. And since I breastfeed my 22 month old and hope to become pregnant soon, I will certainly ensure I avoid BPA myself. Honestly, it is not hard to do since safer alternatives are available, so it has not been an inconvenience. Even if it were, the extra steps are worth protecting the health of my family.

Related Articles:

  • “Cheat sheet” of BPA-free sippy cups and bottles
  • Pregnant women told to avoid BPA
  • Today Show report on BPA & plastic safety
  • BPA may lead to health problems such as obesity and ADD/ADHD
  • Whole Foods private label canned food contain BPA
  • Canned foods and BPA
  • BPA is found in infant formula
  • Gerber baby food containers
  • BPA and other plastic safety
  • Z Recommends: The Z Report on BPA In Infant Care Products, Third Edition
  • Environmental Working Group: Guide to Baby Safe Bottles & Formula
  • Environmental Working Groups Report on BPA in Baby Formula
  • Breastmilk contains stem cells
  • Breastmilk cures
  • Can breastmilk cure cancer?
  • Harmful Plastics: Polycarbonate with 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.

    Where is BPA found? Astonishingly, BPA is found everywhere making human exposure widespread.

    Baby bottles and sippy cups.
    AVOID bottles such as Dr. Brown’s, Avent, clear Evenflo, FirstYears, Platex VentAire, Sassy and TupperCare as they are all contain bisphenol A. On the sippy cup side, avoid Nuby cups with handles coming up from the bottom of the cup, Gerber Soft Starter, and Gerber Suzy’s Zoo & Sippy Snacker.

    BPA-free bottles and sippies flagged as safe include: glass bottles, Born-Free, Medela breastmilk storage bottles (made with polypropylene) and disposable bottle systems that have polyethylene plastic inserts. 

    And for sippies: Avent Magic Cup, Born-Free, FirstYears Take & Toss, Gerber Color Change, Munchkin Cupsicle, Sigg Baby Water Bottle, Playtex Sipster, and the new Boon Fluid Sippy cup. I also called Luv N Care, makers of the Nuby sippies. Their cups are made with #5 plastic except for the cup with the handles coming up from the bottom. The straw sipper’s sliding closure is also a polycarbonate piece, but since it is not touching liquid, it is considered safe. However, my daughter chews on this, so we will not be using this cup. There are many stainless steel varieties as well such as Kleen Kanteen and Thermos Foogo sippy cup, though these are much more expensive. Avoiding aluminum cups for your child would be recommended as aluminum has been linked to other health issues, including Alzheimer’s.

    If you must use a bottle/sippy made with BPA (which is probably rare), you should NEVER store milk in a container made with BPA, as the chemical could leach into the milk. You should also discard any bottles that are scratched, appear cloudy or generally have an altered appearance from their “new” look. Exposing to heat, harsh detergents (no dishwashers) and microwaving can cause leaching. Not sure how many infants want milk that is not warmed. (Of course this means warming the bottle in water, NOT in the microwave.) To me, it’s not worth the risk to use these products. Unfortunate since my daughter used Dr. Brown’s at daycare when I could not nurse her. But fortunately she was mostly nursed, so at least her exposure was limited.

    It’s in the lining of canned foods, where it appears to be the most common way to be exposed. BPA can leach into the food inside the can. It’s especially important to note that infants fed canned formula are at the greatest risk. Even fruit in plastic jars may be made with polycarbonate plastic, including the Dole variety. According to Dole, this is the only plastic that can withstand the heat, disturbing since heating polycarbonate plastic is how the BPA can leach into food.

    Plastic food containers. Not all containers are made with BPA, but all can leach harmful chemicals when not properly used. NEVER heat food in plastic containers of any kind (this does include Styrofoam containers). Always heat food in a microwave safe container, glass is best. I know you are thinking this is a pain, but so would chemotherapy. Given the choice, I wash the extra dish.

    There are 7 types of plastic. Look under most plastic products and in the recycle symbol, there should be a number that indicates the type of plastic it is made from. Numbers 5, 4, 1 and 2 are safe for food. 3, 6 and 7 are not, with 7 being BPA.

    Here is a great handout I found that explains the 7 types of plastic and goes into more detail about the 3 harmful ones you want to avoid. Attention bottled water drinkers, there is bad news here for you. Plastic water bottles are typically made from the harmful plastics.

    Another good resource is the bisphenol A portal. Has great info and links to a California environmental site. Noteably, California has banned the use of bishenol A in the making of products for children.

    It is also important to note that the studies that found these harmful effects were government funded. The industry-funded studies did not find any threat to humans (of course), so if you embark on your own search on bisphenol A, please make sure to note if the study was industry-funded. They have a way of hiding things to protect their bottom line. Searching for and manufacturing safer alternatives can be costly.

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