As everyone knows by now, we just recently had twin girls. I decided to get rid of some of our old baby bottles and get a couple of the special ones that help reduce the amount of air the baby drinks. After doing some research I came across information that many of the most popular baby bottles leach a harmful chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA), into the liquid when the bottles are heated.
I am generally not an alarmist when it comes to these things and figured that while it might be cause for some concern I wasn’t really going to write about it. That was until I saw the front page of one of Canada’s leading newspaper, The Globe and Mail, just this morning with this heading “Canada first to label bisphenol A as officially dangerous“. After reading the article I decided it was time to post about this health concern.
The study that I stumbled upon a couple days ago is titled “Toxic Baby Bottles In Canada – Bisphenol A Leaching from Popular Brands of Polycarbonate Baby Bottles” and was just published this past February.
I was surprised to see that pretty much all of the most popular baby bottles were listed in the study:
The study was done in Canada and used a leading US researcher, Dr. vom Saal, in BPA to perform the analysis for the study.
Here are some excerpts of the study:
The bottles did not show notable levels of leaching at room temperature but all bottles showed significant levels of leaching in the range of 5-8 ng/ml (ppb) when heated.
Based on Dr. vom Saal’s large body of research, as well as over 130 peer-reviewed journal articles on bisphenol A, we conclude that the amount leaching from heated bottles is within the realm of harm in animal studies and is a significant health concern.
While the bottles tested for this report were brand new, leaching from plastic increases with wear and tear and repeated washing. Over time, as polycarbonate plastics are washed and reused, they can be subjected to washing conditions which degrade the plastic. The common practice of using plastics in microwave ovens can lead to uneven heating and the creation of focal areas of high heat, also leading to degradation. According to Dr. vom Saal and others, preliminary evidence suggests that the amount of bisphenol A released from a new bottle over 24 hours at 80?C is similar to the amount released at room temperature by bottles that have been washed 60 to 100 times. After a polycarbonate plastic bottle goes through repeated washing in the dishwasher, or simply with hot water, the plastic degrades and the amount of bisphenol A leaching from the bottle increases.
Scientific studies have simulated repeated and long-term use of polycarbonate bottles and found higher rates of bisphenol A leaching over time. This indicates that polycarbonate plastic products degrade over time, especially after exposure to heat.
This leaching can be avoided if you rarely heat your plastic baby bottles. I dont think our baby bottles ever got close to the temperature mentioned in the study. Another alternative would be to just buy glass baby bottles. I went to the store just yesterday and noticed that there were no more Dr. Brown baby bottles available in plastic.
I wouldn’t go crazy over this but it wouldn’t hurt to give you friends and family members a heads up on this recent health concern.
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