Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday-BPA free products

Well, it is another Works for Me Wendesday! My item that works for me is a site I found with a list of BPA free baby products. What is BPA? Taken from Safe Mama:

Bisphenol A is a hormone-mimicking chemical used in polycarbonate plastics and resins commonly used for items such as shatterproof baby bottles. Bisphenol has estrogenic properties which, in animal tests has shown to cause a bevy of health problems such as an increase in prostate and breast cancer, uro-genital abnormalities in male babies, a decline in semen quality in men, early onset of puberty in girls, metabolic disorders including insulin-resistant (Type 2) diabetes and obesity and neurobehavioral problems such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Research is showing that when plastic containers, mostly those used to hold liquids and foods, are leeching Bisphenol into the foods and liquids they are holding. Heating food and liquids with these plastics is shown to increase the leeching of this contaminate.

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.

Apparently, there are 7 types of plastic (who knew?). If you look at the bottom of most plastic products and in the recycle symbol, you'll see a number that indicates the type of plastic it is. Numbers 1,2, 4 and 5 are safe for food. 3, 6 and 7 are not, with 7 being BPA, the worst one (or at least the one that has gotten tons of media attention for its use in baby products).

Safe Mama has a nifty little spreadsheet she is working on to help all of us clueless moms on what to buy that IS safe! (Thank you Safe Mama!!!!) So, without further adieu, here is the spreadsheet.
So, that, for right now, is what works for me! Head on over to Rocks In My Dryer for other nifty tips!

On a side note, the bottles I used for Little Dude to supplement breast feedings were playtex vent air wide. I loved them and they made it very easy to switch back and forth; however, they apparently do have small amounts of BPA in the bottle part, the nipple and vent are completely free of BPA, according to the Playtext statement. Here is just part of their statement:
The Playtex VentAire Bottle Systems* are made from a grade of polycarbonate that is FDA approved for food contact and comply with all U.S. and European standards.

So, now I am debating if I should throw out my old bottles that really got very little use and buy all new ones for JR, or if moderation is the key to avoiding the harmful effects of BPA.

JR will drink from a bottle so rarely, and esp since I really mastered the babywearing and breastfeeding at the same time with my awesome sling, I feel quite confident to do it in public without anyone being able to tell I am feeding JR.

Is it bad of me to want to use the bottles I used for Little Dude? I did actually check all my sippy cups and plates for him, and they all fall into the safe plastic categories, but do I really need to worry about the bottles? I guess I will start looking around and checking out bottles, but I am very sad to spend the money when I have some really great, hardly used bottles sitting ready to go, esp when honestly, it seems like moderation may be the key. Like not letting formula sit in the bottle all day, or heating the bottle in the microwave.


Milehimama said...

We faced the same thing. Baby gets a bottle so very rarely...

The BPA is a hormone disruptor, and interferes after chronic exposure. IMO, the little bit of bottle is okay. Especially because the bottle isn't heated or served very hot.

I did get rid of some of the children's cups, however, but they use those EVERY DAY.

JL said...

Thank you, thank you for posting that spreadsheet. I've been wondering which sippy cups are safe. My daughter was bottle fed (Avent brand) because of breastfeeding issues. I didn't know anything about this until she was almost ready for sippy cups, but now that I know I will try to keep her safe from the BPA. I recently bought glass glasses and threw out our plastic glasses (which we've used for years) with the #7 on the bottom. Yikes!!
I would think you're okay with the bottles, since the baby won't use them very much and you won't be heating them in the microwave. Congrats on the new baby...I voted for June 30. : )

Lizzie said...

I have recently become aware of the dangers of BPA and and I am in the process of trying to find (BPA-free) sippy cups. Your post came at the perfect time.

I do wish they would stop putting all this "stuff" into products we use everyday. It's so scary to consider the side effects some may/do have.

Thanks again for the post!


Jinxy & Me said...

Thanks for posting the spreadsheet. I would think that since you aren't using the bottle for storage and not heating it in, the minimal use would be ok - of course, I'm no scientist! Good luck with your decision.

Andrea said...

This is the second time today I've heard about this plastic (for the first time). Amazing and scary, and interesting at the same time. Thanks for sharing!

Karen said...

On a related note, I heard that one of the plastics in those Nalgene bottles is harmful to drink from. And I don't know how many people have those!

I would probably not throw the bottles away, but now that you know about the dangers, you'll likely feel guilty using them. I would get one or two new ones that aren't harmful, and save the others for a true emergency when the others are dirty (like if you are sick and need to use formula for a few days or something). I hate to throw away things that are still useful (hippie in me coming through here), but if it's dangerous even in a small way, it might be worth it. Maybe if you have a little girl, she would like to use the bottles to "play" with her dolls. Then you won't have to buy the plastic ones for that purpose and they'll still be used without being used for drinking!