Bisphenol A, or more commonly known as BPA, is an organic compound present in certain types of plastic.
Bisphenol A is an endocrine disruptor and has been linked to insulin resistance and obesity, miscarriage, breast cancer, prostate cancer and much more.
Uses of Bisphenol A
According to Our Stolen Future, Bisphenol A is now deeply imbedded in the products of modern consumer society, not just as the building block for polycarbonate plastic (from which it then leaches as the plastic ages) but also in the manufacture of epoxy resins and other plastics, including polysulfone, alkylphenolic, polyalylate, polyester-styrene, and certain polyester resins.
Its uses don't end with the making of plastic. Bisphenol A has been used as an inert ingredient in pesticides (although in the US this has apparently been halted), as a fungicide, antioxidant, flame retardant, rubber chemical, and polyvinyl chloride stabilizer.
These uses create a myriad of exposures for people. Bisphenol A-based polycarbonate is used as a plastic coating for children's teeth to prevent cavities, as a coating in metal cans to prevent the metal from contact with food contents, as the plastic in food containers, refrigerator shelving, baby bottles, water bottles, returnable containers for juice, milk and water, micro-wave ovenware and eating utensils.
Other exposures result from BPA's use in "films, sheets, and laminations; reinforced pipes; floorings; watermain filters; enamels and vanishes; adhesives; artificial teeth; nail polish; compact discs; electric insulators; and as parts of automobiles, certain machines, tools, electrical appliances, and office automation instruments" (Takahashi and Oishi 2000).
BPA contamination is also widespread in the environment. For example, BPA can be measured in rivers and estuaries at concentrations that range from under 5 to over 1900 nanograms/liter. Sediment loading can also be significant, with levels ranging from under 5 to over 100 µg/kg (ppb) BPA is quite persistent as under normal conditions in the environment it does not readily degrade (Rippen 1999).
How To Avoid BPA Leaching
- Buy BPA-free plastics (avoid #7 PC). Call the manufacturer if you are unsure.
- Do not microwave plastics or use plastics for warm food or beverages.
- Avoid canned foods (the lining of the cans usually contains BPA). If you use formula, opt for powdered.
Manufacturers of BPA-Free Products
This excerpt is taken from a post at Safemama.com - for an up to date list of BPA free bottles and other products (including Sippy Cups and Milk Storage containers), visit her up to date listing.
- Adiri Natural Nursers
- Avent “Via” disposable bottles
- BornFree: All bottles and cups BPA free
- EvenFlo: Glass bottles, Classic Tinted Polypropylene bottles
- Playtex: Original Nurser, Opaque Soft Bottle (discontinued), Playtex Drop in liners
- Gerber: Gerber Clear View, Fashion Tints (”Plastic Pastels”), Gerber GentleFlow
- Medela: All bottles
- Sassy MAM bottles (UltiVent), Baby Food Nurser Kit
- Green to Grow Bottles
- Sassy Baby Food Nurser Kit
- ThinkBaby Bottles
- Momo Glass Bottles
- Munchkin: Dora the Explorer Classic Bottles
- Nuby: Standard Neck Non-Drip Bottle, Wide-Neck Non-Drip Bottle, Wide-Neck Bottle with Handles and Non-Drip Nipple, Standard Neck Bottle with Handles and Non-Drip Nipple, 3-Stage Wide Neck Easy Grip Feeding System with Non-Drip Nipple.
- Nuture Pure Glass bottles
- Babisil Silbottles
- Weego Glass Bottles
- Siliskin Glass Bottles
- Dr Brown’s: Glass Bottles (all vent system pieces BPA Free), Dr. Browns Polypropylene bottles (due in store’s April 15th)
- Parent’s Choice Bottles (available at Walmart) - box is marked BPA Free
For more information, visit Safemama.com
You can also find more information about BPA, how to avoid it, and safer products at Healthy Child Healthy World.