March 15, 2007
more bad plastic news: baby bottles
I was going to talk about something other than plastics today, but Environment California asked me to get the word out on some alarming new baby bottle research. For the record, I used one of these brands of bottles for my first baby (second baby would not take a bottle). Please read the information they have shared, and pass it on to any new parents you know (or point them to momgogreen.com!)
“A child’s first few years are an exciting time for parents who hope that their child starts his or her life happy and healthy,” said Lara Tabor, Environment California’s State Field Organizer. “Unfortunately, parents do not have the information they need to adequately protect their children from toxic chemicals. California should require manufacturers to remove toxic chemicals from children’s products and, in the meantime, give parents the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions—right away.”
Environment California Research and Policy Center worked with an independent laboratory to analyze five of the most popular brands of baby bottles on the market to determine whether bisphenol A—a chemical linked to developmental, neural, and reproductive problems—leached from the bottles into liquids contained inside them.
• The five bottle brands tested include: Avent, Dr. Brown’s, Evenflo, Gerber, and Playtex.
• All five bottle brands leached bisphenol A at levels found to cause harm in numerous laboratory animal studies.
Bisphenol A is most commonly used to make clear polycarbonate plastic for consumer products, such as baby bottles. Through use, this plastic breaks down and leaches bisphenol A into liquids and food to which it comes into contact.
Scientists have linked very low doses of bisphenol A exposure to cancers, impaired immune function, early onset of puberty, obesity, diabetes, and hyperactivity, among other problems.
In the absence of both state and federal government action and adequate information about the presence of toxic chemicals in consumer products, Environment California Research and Policy Center recommends that parents and others caring for children do the following:
• Choose glass or safer-plastic baby bottles;
• Never heat food or beverages in plastic containers or bottles, which can speed up the leaching process;
• In washing plastic products, avoid harsh dishwashing soap and hot water, both of which speed up the leaching process; and
• For additional helpful tips and other information, visit www.EnvironmentCalifornia.org.
Okay - don't you love the part where they say don't put the plastics in the dishwasher or use hot water to clean them? Um, how else should we sterilize the bottles between use? Obviously finding a better bottle must be the answer. So I googled and found Born Free bottles.
Haven't used them myself. Have you? Let me know what you think! I know how hard it can be when your baby is fussy about what kind of bottle to take.
I think one of the most important messages from this is that we need manufacturers to disclose more information, and our government could help by requiring safer standards. Keep in mind that many of these plastics would not be allowed in Europe or Australia.