Baby Bottle Toxins

Baby Bottle

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a draft report concurring with the conclusions of a scientific panel that there is “some concern” related to neural and hormonal disruptions in humans who are exposed to a chemical compound called bisphenol-a or B.P.A.

B.P.A. is used to manufacture a rigid yet transparent polycarbonate plastic (#7) that is a component in things like the plastic coating for iPods, food can linings, baby bottles and the familiar “Nalgene” type of water bottle. This is significant because the report cites that 99% of human exposure comes through food ingestion, implicating soda cans, water and baby bottles.

The report concludes that in animal studies, there is “clear evidence of adverse effects” on fetus and newborn development in high dose environments. Yet, in lower dosage environments, there is still “some evidence” of disruption to the reproduction of the studied animals and “limited evidence” of developmental disruption especially related to the prostate gland and urinary tract development in male mice. This is due to BPA’s ability to mimic the body’s natural hormone estrogen.

The bottom line is that this plastic, while under scrutiny for the past several years, is now being identified, by government officials, as posing some human risk and requiring further study. The Canadian government yesterday reported that they are nearly ready to declare BPA a human toxin. Official word from Health Canada is still pending.

Because of the properties of the polycarbonate plastic, BPA can leach into the food contained by the plastic, especially when the food has a high acid content (like tomato sauce), is heated (like baby formula), or the container has been washed with harsh cleansers. Polycarbonate plastic has been measured to leach BPA fifty-five times faster when it contains a hot liquid.

This is especially important with polycarbonate baby bottles, since most adults heat baby formula while in the bottle with a microwave or in a saucepan with water, increasing the leaching of BPA into the infant formula. Because of the small size of infants, the exposure risk through the baby bottle is magnified compared to consumption of BPA by an adult, not to mention the disruption to the infant’s development at such critical stages.

So what to do? The plastics known not to leach are #2 HDPE, #4 LDPE and #5 PP. Consider using one of these plastics to hold food and avoid #7 polycarbonate, #6 Polystyrene and #3 Polyvinyl chloride. Only heat foods in a microwave with glass or ceramic containers. As for baby bottles, I guess Mom was right: good old glass is still the time tested standard that is yet to be surpassed.

For more information and reference sources, try these links:

http://cerhr.niehs.nih.gov/chemicals/bisphenol/BPADraftBriefVF_04_14_08.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol-A

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/16/business/worldbusiness/16plastic.html?_r=1&ref=health&oref=slogin

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About Paul Kulpinski, LMT

Paul Kulpinski is a licensed massage therapist, holistic wellness coach and co-founder of Mountain Waves Healing Arts in Flagstaff, Arizona with over 15 years experience in helping people achieve their optimum state of well being. Information contained in this blog should not be taken as medical advice. Readers are advised to validate the information presented here with other sources including your personal physician for information specific to you.
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4 Responses to Baby Bottle Toxins

  1. polythenepam says:

    I have been giving up plastic rubbish at the rate one piece a month for over a year now. I didnt want to but we are knee deep in the stuff and theres the trash vortex a floating plastic rubbish island the size of Texas. I didnt want to but I started because I didnt like what plastic was doing to the environment – as I have found out more about it I am seriously worried about the effects of plastic on our health. Thankfully its not that hard once you take the first step. Now have sourced a number of products that dont come wrapped in plastic. My life is almost plastic free, my bin is a lot emptier, my mind less troubled and I am worshipped by marine mammals.

  2. kelly johnson says:

    i think that this is a good idea being that i am a proud mother myself and i really apppreciate it

  3. Yayan M says:

    I was wondering what is government official action, If they know the research is there any rules for manufacturer ?.
    Regards
    Yayan.M

  4. Yayan,

    Good question. Researchers are divided as they are having trouble replicating the same results from identical studies – so no progress on that front. In the political spectrum, it’s as you’d expect: bogged down in politics – so no progress on that front either. Manufacturers seem to have bowed from public pressure to limit the use of BPA in food containers, but that is also inconsistent. Here’s an update in this September 6, 2010 article in the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/07/science/07bpa.html?pagewanted=1&ref=health

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