Friday, September 28, 2007

RAMBLING: Problems With Plastic

If you haven't seen the recent debate about BPA and babies' bottles you've missed out. When I read the news I immediately felt terrible about bottles that LLB had used that could have possibly "poisoned" her. As a mom I don't usually need more guilt but sheesh this one sure made me feel terrible. So I did some research and now I want to share my accrued info with you.

There are only a handful of baby/infant bottles on the market that don't contain Bisphenol A (BPA), to my knowledge. The most popular and most famous are the Born Free bottles, as their whole mission has been BPA free feeding from the get-go. Other brands such as MAM and Evenflo do make bottles that don't contain the toxin as well. The Z Report Blog did an EXCELLENT piece on which bottles are BPA free and which aren't, consult their list to check on your bottles. The real trick seems to come in having bottles that aren't completely clear. Sheesh who would have thought a window into a drink could cause so much damage.

What does BPA do? Bisphenol A has been linked by scientists to cancers, impaired immune function, early onset of puberty, obesity, diabetes and hyperactivity!

How does the BPA get into my child's system? The plastic material in containers breaks down through use and releases bisphenol A into liquids and food. This happens from just regular use, heating the bottles causes it to happen.

What about sippy cups? Since most of them aren't clear you will find that sippy cups are made from a safer plastic. The Z Report Blog did a report on sippy cups as well.

I think the worst part about this BPA mess is that it isn't always easy to do the right thing. Changing the bottles is a GREAT first step. If we decided to have another babe (and that's a topic best reserved for another post) I will NOT use any of the "bad bottles." All my Avents will go in the trash! That's the easy part. But not everything puts its plastic number on the bottom. The Avent sippy cups sure don't say what number they are.

A lot of our plastic containers that we store food in or receive food in are bad. It's not always a change that easy to make. The change is simple in theory, eliminate plastics from your everyday. Easier said then done, here are some tips:
  • Avoid bottles and other food containers made of clear, hard polycarbonate plastic (made from bisphenol A), which may be labeled #7 or PC on the underside. Also avoid polyvinyl chloride (PVC), labeled #3, which can contain phthalates.

  • Choose plastic food containers, bottles and cups made of #1, #2 and #4 (polyethylene) and softer, opaque #5 (polypropylene) plastics, glass or stainless steel.

  • Avoid canned foods, including baby formula, which may contain bisphenol A in their lining.

  • Avoid foods wrapped in plastic.

  • Do not microwave children's food in plastic or polystyrene.

  • Do not put plastics in the dishwasher, and dispose of any plastic containers or dishware that look scratched or hazy.

Read the rest of the tips and some more info on BPA over at the Celebrity Baby Blog where I did an entry on Hollywood's response to this.

Going Green in Baby Steps,

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