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Update On Plastics and Baby Bottles

Information on Bisphenol A (BPA) For Your Parents

What is BPA?

Many food and liquid containers are made of polycarbonate, or lined
with an epoxy that contains the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) used to
harden plastics and prevent cans from rusting.

There is controversy over the possible harmful effects BPA may have
on humans particularly on infants and children in their developmental
phases. Animal studies have shown effects on endocrine functions in
animals related to exposure to BPA . The recent panel study suggests the
need for further clarification of what level of exposure to BPA might
cause similar effects in humans.

Regulatory agencies in Canada, Europe and Japan agree that the
current BPA exposure levels through food packaging do not pose an
immediate health risk to the general population, including infants and
children.

Advice for Parents

Breastfeeding is one way to reduce potential BPA exposure. The
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding
for a minimum of 4 months but preferably for 6 months. Breastfeeding
should be continued, with the addition of complementary foods, at least
through the first 12 months of age and thereafter as long as mutually
desired by mother and infant.

Parents considering switching children from liquid to powdered
formula should be reminded that mixing procedures may differ, so they
should pay special attention in preparing formula from powder.

Parents with babies on specialized formulas to address medical
conditions should not switch children off those formulas, as the known
risks of doing so would outweigh any potential risks posed by BPA.

Concerned parents can take the following precautionary measures to
reduce babies’ exposure to BPA:

  • Avoid clear plastic bottles or containers with the #7 imprinted on
    them. Many contain BPA
  • Consider using certified or identified BPA-free plastic bottles
  • Use bottles made of opaque plastic. These bottles (made of
    polyethylene or polypropylene) do not contain BPA
  • Glass bottles can be an alternative, but be aware of the risk of
    injury to baby or parent if the bottle is dropped or broken

Because heat may cause the release of BPA from plastic, consider the
following:

  • Do not boil polycarbonate bottles
  • Do not heat polycarbonate bottles in the microwave
  • Do not wash polycarbonate bottles in the dishwasher
  • Risks associated with giving infants inappropriate (home-made
    condensed milk) formulas or alternative (soy or goat) milk are far
    greater than the potential effects of BPA

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