Friday, February 8, 2008

Bye bye BPA

I've been thinking about getting on the "let's go BPA-free" bandwagon for about a month now, but all the articles I read on the subject were of the "some researchers/consumers think this is a concern, others do not" variety. Well, today I heard about this press release in which "Environmental Health Groups Call for Immediate Moratorium on Bisphenol A in Baby Bottles, Food and Beverage Containers."
Here's the basic info: bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic sex hormone that mimics estrogen, is used to make hard polycarbonate plastic. Ninety-five percent of all baby bottles on the market are made with BPA. Other food and beverage containers, particularly cans, also contain BPA.

I'm convinced that this issue is worth our attention - and our action. Prompted by this Seventh Generation newsletter article, I got rid of my polycarbonate (plastic recycling symbol #7) water bottles (fortuitously, David lost his at the hospital this week). Here's a key quote:

"To be safe, environmental advocates suggest simply avoiding #7 plastics altogether and opting for safer choices for food and beverage storage. These better options include polypropylene (#5 PP), high density polyethylene (#2 HDPE), and low density polyethylene (#4 LDPE). No evidence has been found to suggest that these plastics leach toxic materials. Evidence exists to suggest that plastic water and other bottles made from plastic type #1 PETE may leach certain toxic compounds into the liquids they hold, especially over time and with repeated use."

Now we're considering some plastic alternatives, such as the stainless steel bottle pictured above.

I am absolutely committed to BPA-free products (bottles, pacifiers, teethers, etc.) for the babies we hope God will bless us with. Perhaps I'll start with this BPA-free bottle sampler offered by the Soft Landing Baby Blog (if we even need bottles - how many should a plans-to-breastfeed-only expectant mom have on hand?). I read all of Soft Landing's news about nontoxic products for little ones.

If you're looking to research the BPA issue further, I recommend you go to Baby's Toxic Bottle for a page full of links.

I'm also going to be reading more about phthalates, another hormone-mimicking chemical additive in baby products (shampoo, lotion, soap, etc.) with suspicious effects.


WOOD said...

Good for you for being conscientious about the plastics... I was totally oblivious before becoming a mom!

If it is any relief to you, a breastfeeding mom doesn't *need* any bottles! Every family is different, and they serve a purpose for some, but as an exclusively (and extendedly) breastfeeding mom, I can tell you it was more trouble for me! I only ever pumped about 6 oz in my life and I got rid of the three bottles I did have (a package.) That was liberating!

Our culture (and most doctors) would have you think it automatically goes along with breastfeeding, but it doesn't have to!

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