I was nursing O this morning when this horrifying story came on the news. A University of Missouri study was conducted and revealed that the chemical bisphenol A leached into liquids from five popular baby bottle brands—Avent, Dr. Browns, Evenflo, Gerber and Playtex. All the baby bottles brands I’ve ever known anyone to use. Experts will meet next week to try to determine if this chemical is dangerous, but it’s been linked to “developmental, neural and reproductive harm when ingested.” Holy toxic baby bottles, Batman!
What the CRAP?! How does something like this happen? How do could we, as an industrial society, put babies in danger like this? Then I have questions about the study and story itself, such as:
- Why do they release this story, without giving us further information on whether the chemical IS actually dangerous? They have to know moms are going to worry.
- Are they sure the U of M study is conclusive (i.e., it won’t be like the Car Seat Study put out earlier this year)?
- Did they test ALL the bottles out there, and these were the only ones that leaked? Or did they test other brands and they were OK? Because it does me no good to throw out my Dr. Brown’s bottles (which I was contemplating anyway, because while they are good bottles, they have so many damn parts to clean) only to find out all bottles have the leach problem.
It’s just so frustrating. You do everything you can for your child, you want the best for your child, then something like this comes along and rocks your world. Combine the bottle story with another story I saw this morning on dismal child care rankings and you get one lousy morning for baby news.
As a result of findings from the Missouri study and others, many manufacturers of bottles for babies and children started voluntarily making the switch to BPA-free plastics. In 2012, the FDA banned the use of bisphenol A in the manufacture of baby bottles and sippy cups.
Unfortunately, recent tests on 50 reusable bottles and containers labeled “BPA-free” found that while BPA was no longer a problem, the majority of these products released other endocrine-disrupting compounds in its place.
So what’s a parent to do? You can start by avoiding PVC, phthalates, and BPA (most manufacturers will note this on the label), advises Healthy Child, Healthy World (part of the Environmental Working Group). PVC is the worst plastic for the environment, loaded with toxic chemicals including lead and phthalates, which make vinyl soft.
Glass and metal baby bottles
Instead of plastics, go for glass or uncoated metal, preferably stainless steel, especially where infants and children are concerned. Here are a few options of glass baby bottles and stainless steel baby bottles to consider:
- Philips AVENT Natural Glass Bottles
- Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Standard Glass Bottles
- Evenflo Feeding Classic Glass Twist Bottles
- Born Free BPA-Free Premium Glass Bottles
- Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottles
- thinkbaby Stainless Steel Baby Bottle
- Pura Kiki Stainless Infant Bottle Stainless Steel