Baby Bottle Chemical Bisphenol A Linked to Disease
Bisphenol A is a chemical present in plastics used to make, amongst other things, baby bottles and sippy cups. The effects Bisphenol A, or BPA, might have on our health has been of concern for years, and is at last getting attention from the heath authorities in the US.
BPA mimics the effects of reproductive hormones in the body. Animal studies have shown BPA damages rat eggs and chromosomes, and predisposes laboratory animals to certain cancers.
Bottle manufacturers have tried to play down evidence from animal studies, saying that it’s not possible to prove BPA is harmful in babies just by looking at lab rats. Until now, no conclusive studies have ever shown that BPA is harmful to humans.
A study released today from Exeter University in the United Kingdom has found that adults with high levels of BPA in their bodies have higher rates of certain diseases: heart disease, diabetes, and liver disease. People with the highest levels of BPA were three times as likely to suffer from heart disease. The study examined adults, not babies, but serious effects in adults can’t be ignored as easily as health problems in laboratory animals.
Canada is already doing something about the problem of BPA. Canadian legislation is set to ban BPA in baby bottles sold in the country.
The results of the Exeter University study will now be examined by the Food and Drug Administration who will decide if any action needs to be taken in the US.
Whatever the FDA decides, major retailers like Target, Walmart and Babies-R-Us have already taken action. Many retailers have responded to parental demands for BPA-free bottles, and have stopped selling, or are in the process of phasing out BPA-containing bottles.
It’s not publicized by the company, but Babies-R-Us will refund or exchange BPA bottles, including used bottles, and even without a receipt. If you bought your baby’s bottles from Babies-R-Us, and they are the type which contain BPA, Babies R Us will give you a store credit or exchange them for bottles without BPA. As it’s not an official program, you might need to speak to a manager to get an exchange for your old bottles, but I know several moms who have replaced their entire bottle collection with BPA-free bottles at Babies-R-Us.
And, here’s a list of BPA-free baby bottles and sippy cups.