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!)

“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

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.


Anonymous said...

The April 2007 Alternative Medicine magazine also recommends the Born Free bottles. To quote: {The Born Free Company} produces plastic bottles and cups that don't leach chemicals into the containers' contents. The plastic they use is free of BPA (bisphenol-A), a hormone-disrupting chemical found in other baby bottles.

Anonymous said...

I just bought the Born Free bottles this week after learning they're free of bisphenol-A.

My baby, 11 months old, didn't seem to notice a difference when he drank from the Born Free. They're just like the other bottles and seem great. They do have two extra parts in their valve system which is a pain to keep track of and clean. But I'm pretty happy with them so far.

Anonymous said...

My baby mostly breastfed with the occasional use of Avent bottles (because I didn't know any better and I hadn't heard of the research until 2 months ago). However, I just bought Born Free sippy cup and it seems the baby needs to get used to the nipple. But it's more practical for dropping and holding than the stainless steel sippy cup I bought first. And as for the comment about not allowing these plastics into baby items in Europe, I just got back from a trip to Germany and Italy and Avent is EVERYWHERE as are bath toys made out of #7 from China. Only the odd German toy store carried wooden, paint friendly toys. Needless to say, I bought as many as I could since they are available in small does in N.A. I was surprised to find so much plastic. But the water that Europeans drink in restaurants and from variety stores is in glass not plastic. That was nice to see.

Anonymous said...

I just switched to born free from dr brown's after learning about the bpa warnings. My 4 month old baby didn't seem to notice a difference and is just as happy with the new born frees!

Anonymous said...

I have been breastfeeding and using medela pump and bottles, also BPA-Free. But they only come in 5oz as far as I know. I've just started using Born Free problem with the switch, but my girl is not picky.

Anonymous said...

We've been using Born Free 9 oz. bottles since our twins were 3 months old (switched from Avent when they were getting ready for a bigger bottle). They did not seem to notice the difference and we have been VERY happy with both the plastic and glass bottles. We also have the drinking cups and are pleased that we can eventually turn the bottles into larger sippy cups as well.

Anonymous said...

We've been using Born Free bottles for 3 months now. Our baby took to the Born Free nipple best. He had trobles getting used to the other nipples (tried Avent, Dr. Brown). The bottles are easy to clean as well.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like scare tactics to me. These bottles have been in use for decades with no ill effects. I'd like to see some actual scientific studies that conclude this is actually harmful.

Yes, hot water speeds up the leeching process - but is that only while it is hot or not? And is it at the levels that can harm a baby. This all sounds like pseudo-science to me.

Anonymous said...

BREAST IS BEST!!! Almost every woman can feed her baby at her own breast and completely avoid BPA in baby's diet. A mom working can have her baby cup fed or fed from a glass bottle. Some moms can even learn to hand-express breast milk while at work into glass jars so milk never contacts plastic!!!
have a look at

mom go green said...

i'd just like to point out that while most do agree that breast is best, there are cases where it doesn't work. despite tremendous efforts, my son had to be fed with bottles. also remember there are many adopted babies who may be fed with bottles. it is good to know what good choices there are so every parent can make an informed decision.

Anonymous said...

Ok, now what do I do? I have switched my 4 month old to glass bottles (no problem) but my 3 year old had plastic bottles that I washed in the dishwasher/sterilizer and poured boiling water there anything I can do to help this BPA exposure?? Guilt guilt guilt.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the breast being best, but only when it actually is the best option that is available. I have to work full-time, and so my 4 month old takes bottles most of the day, but I put up the Avent bottles once I learned about the risk, but have not thrown them out yet until I hear more... I have purchased another brand as of last night, and done inventory on my other bottles as well...where can I find more information about the specific bottle types within a brand that are affected, because each brand makes several varieties of bottles....

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see real scientific studies as well. Plastics are all over the place in our society, not just in baby bottles. We have a three year old son who used avent to start out but after having problems with spitting up too much, we switched to dr browns and had great success. after spending a large amount of money on dr browns bottles and the stuff that goes along with them, i'm apprehensive to buy another whole brand.

our son is perfectly healthy and so are all the other babies who have used these plastic bottles. just dont put them in the microwave. we used to put them in the dishwasher on delicate cycle or hand wash them and drip dry.

I think people are getting too scared to even live anymore. one year the news says this is bad for you, a few years later they report it's not bad for you. and so on. it happens all the time and until i see real facts that these bottles have harmed infants , i'm keeping on using the dr browns. we weren't able to breast feed our now three year old son because he was in neo natal care for 3-4 days and they gave him forumula there without us knowing about it. so then trying to breast feed was a three week horrible experience for my wife and so now we just had our second, a baby girl a few days ago and my wife wants to formula feed. and even though i don't agree, it's her choice. i know breast might be better but it's not like formula fed kids are growing up stupid and never succeeding in life.
there are too many other factors that help your keed succeed, they aren't on formula for all that long anyways.

don't be so quick to believe everything you read or listen to on the news because most of it's spun to get their agenda across.

Anonymous said...

Have just read that BPA is non-cumulative, which I assume means that it doesn't accumulate in the body and once you stop exposure, your body gets rid of it. This is a huge relief if it is true (since I have just learned of the dangers of BPA)...has anyone else heard this?

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that this information is just coming out now. My son is almost 2 and 1/2 and we have been using Avent bottles ever since I stopped breastfeeding at 15 months. We have warmed them in the microwave, boiled the bottles, poured boiling water in them etc and I am disgusted that if this is in fact harmful, then why has this information been concealed, and worse still, why are we still seeing these brands in the shops. Just proves money hungry corporations! I am feeling terrible and I am going to buy a glass bottle tomorrow or try to find the Born free bottles. I really hope there's no harm done.

Slonek Air Conditioning said...

There should be good organic substitute to the bottles for babies them.When plastic is causing so much threat to a healthy life then why are the big brands making products out of the same?