BPA and Your Baby's Bottle - The Basics

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Bio banner for RN blogger, Jennifer Buchanan Expecting moms typically register for baby items based on what their friends (usually other moms) tell them "they MUST have." Sharing space at the top of the list, along with the latest fun trends in newborn fashion, is often BPA-free Baby Bottles. One thing I've realized is that most new moms have no idea what BPA is, much less why they should avoid exposing their babies to it.

What is BPA?

BPA stands for Bisphenol A.

It's a synthetic chemical that is used in making plastics and can be present in many commercial products, including:

  • Baby bottles
  • Cell phones
  • Food containers
  • Laptops
  • and more

The Bad News

Bisphenol A has been shown to be harmful when ingested, particularly at an early age. When BPA is used in food and drink storage, it can leach from the plastic into food. Health problems arise in individuals who regularly consume this exposed food because it disrupts the normal functioning of the endocrine systems and has been linked with certain types of cancer.

While it is difficult to remove BPA-containing plastics from the home entirely, steps can still be taken to reduce exposure. Every step taken towards a BPA-free lifestyle is a positive one!

The list of health disorders currently linked to BPA can cause:

  • Cancers
  • Diabetes
  • Early onset of puberty in females
  • Hyperactivity
  • Obesity

You can learn more about related disorders at the Division of Endocrinology and Division of Hematology - Oncology at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

The Good News

At this time, BPA has not been found to be dangerous when used in commercial products like laptops and cell phones, so there's no need to throw away every item that contains BPA. Infants and toddlers will occasionally place such commercial items containing BPA in their mouths, but an occasional cell phone containing BPA in the mouth is not cause for parents to be alarmed.

What Can Parents Do?

Use Glass

Another alternative to plastics and a trend during this time of BPA uncertainty is the use of glass products. Many families are using glass bottles and food storage containers just to be on the safe side.

Use BPA-Free Plastic Storage Containers

The FDA does not have conclusive studies to justify banning the use of BPA from plastics, yet enough research has been conducted for many companies to move towards BPA-free plastics.

Which Brand Should I Choose?

Strolling through the bottle aisle at any given retailer, the options available to parents can seem endless and overwhelming. Luckily, research suggests that as long as the product you choose is BPA free, the brand you decide to purchase can be based on personal preference. Ultimately, deciding which bottle to buy is up to you and your baby.

A Few BPA-Free Brands

  • Avent
  • Born Free
  • Dr. Brown's
  • MilkBank
  • Nurtria
  • Weil

Not Just for Babies

Removing BPA from the kitchen is especially important for infants. However, it's also imperative for the healthy development of toddlers, school-aged kids, teenagers and even adults. Many companies that produce water bottles and food storage containers are moving to BPA-free plastics. As more research is conducted, more companies will create more products free of harmful chemicals. While it is difficult to remove BPA-containing plastics from the home entirely, steps can still be taken to reduce exposure. Every step taken towards a BPA-free lifestyle is a positive one!

Spread the Word

Please help me spread the word to moms by forwarding this post. We have already been telling families who come to Children's Hospital Los Angeles for care about BPA in the home. Help me spread the word by sharing this post with others.