BPA Plastic Guide for Parents New!
5 Tips For Avoiding BPA
What is BPA?
Bisphenol-A (BPA), a compound used to make polycarbonate plastic, was first developed as a synthetic estrogen. It is now used to make plastic hard, to coat paper, and to line cans and lids of foods and drinks. BPA is one of many chemicals developed in the early 20th century and grandfathered into use without extensive testing.
Why is it bad?
BPA is an endocrine-disrupting and potentially carcinogenic chemical. Animal studies show that low levels of BPA affect hormones that control the development of the brain, the reproductive system, and the immune system. Exposure to BPA has been linked to some cancers, decreased sperm counts, obesity, diabetes, and the early onset of puberty. Health officials have no proof that the chemical has harmed humans and are conducting further studies. However, the National Toxicology Program expressed “some concern” about the potential effects on the brain, behavior and prostate in fetuses, infants and children.
5 Tips on How to Avoid BPA1. Check the recycling number on the bottom of all plastics
- Avoid any plastics with recycling numbers 3, 6 or 7
- 7 may contain BPA, 3 may contain phthalates and 6 may contain styrene
- Use only containers coded "4, 5, 1 and 2, all the rest are bad for you!"
2. Discard scratched plastic bottles, cups, and containers
- Scratches harbor germs and, if the plastic contains BPA, may release small amounts of BPA
3. Never heat or microwave plastic & be careful with (hot) dishwashersStudies have found very small amounts of BPA in plastics can transfer to food. More BPA is transferred when heat comes in contact with plastic.
- Do not microwave or heat anything plastic
- Do not pour hot items into plastic
- Do not heat baby formula or breast milk in plastic
- Only use containers marked “dishwasher safe” in the dishwasher. Wash plastics only on the top shelf of dishwasher or by hand. Heat and abrasive cleansers can damage plastic, which make it leach more BPA.
4. Use BPA free products
- Baby bottles should be Glass or “BPA free.” In 2009 the six major US manufacturers confirmed they do not use BPA. These include Avent, Doctor Brown’s, Evenflow, First Essentials, Gerber, Munchkin, Nuk, and Playtex brands.
- Use Glass, Porcelain or Stainless Steel, particularly for hot items
- Avoid plastic water bottles. Use tap filters or Brita filters and refill Metal reusable water bottles. Note some have an epoxy-based lining that could leach BPA. Look for stainless steel bottles that do not have a liner or are labeled BPA free
- Reduce your use of Canned foods, nearly all have BPA in the lining
- Fortunately, there are many BPA-free products on the market now. Sources of BPA free products: SafeMama.com, Zrecsguide.com and TheSoftLanding.com
5. It is OK to use powdered Formula
- The FDA found small amounts of BPA in liquid infant formula sold in cans, but powdered infant formula mix typically has no detectable levels of BPA
- If breastfeeding is not an option, iron-fortified infant formula is the safest and most nutritious alternative. According to experts, the benefit of a stable source of good nutrition from infant formula and food outweighs the potential risk of BPA exposure.
Products with BPAMany products you wouldn’t expect contain BPA. These include:
- Baby food jar lids, liquid baby formula, pacifiers, sippy cups and straws
- Plastic cups, plastic utensils, plastic dishes,
- Bath toys, other toys,
- Water bottles, pitchers, food storage containers
- Food processors, blenders (plastic containers and lids)
- Canned food (BPA in epoxy liners in nearly every canned food sold. Highest concentrations in canned meats, pasta and soups)
- Sales receipts (coating on thermal paper – wash your hands!)
- Dental fillings (non-metal)
- Electronics, CDs and DVDs, eyeglasses, medical equipment, etc but scientists believe that the primary concern right now is oral exposure.
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