Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bisphenol-A (BPA) - Know Your Plastics! What to buy & what to avoid

The Chemical Encyclopedia at 'Healthy Child Healthy World' has some good information on how exposure to BPA occurs, products to avoid and some products you can buy that do not contain Bisphenol-A. A few statistics that I also found interesting are:
  • On average, humans ingest approximately 6.3 micrograms per day of bisphenol-A from the linings of food cans.
  • Bisphenol-A is one of the top 50 chemicals produced in the U.S. Over 1.6 billion pounds of this hormone disruptor were produced in 1995.
  • If SWALLOWED, bisphenol-A (BPA) is Very Highly Toxic
    If ABSORBED THROUGH SKIN, bisphenol-A (BPA) is Very Highly Toxic
    If INHALED (SNIFFED OR BREATHED IN), bisphenol-A (BPA) is Highly Toxic
  • This is considered an Unclassifiable Carcinogen by the World Health Organization, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Bisphenol-A was originally developed by the pharmaceutical industry as an Endocrine Disruptor to interfere with, mimic or block hormones (more on this later)
  • In mice, exposure to low levels of bisphenol-A has also induced aneuploidy, an error in cell division that causes miscarriages and birth defects, including Down Syndrome, in humans.
How Exposure Occurs

Baby bottles: Bisphenol-A can migrate into infant formula from polycarbonate plastic baby bottles when heated, particularly from older, worn or scratched bottles.
Canned food: Bisphenol-A may leach from the plastic inner lining in some food cans into the food or liquid containing the food.
Some plastic kitchenware: Some clear plastic spill-proof cups and cutlery (forks, knives, and spoons) are made of polycarbonate. Hot and fatty foods or liquids may dissolve traces of bisphenol-A into the food.
Water bottles: Five-gallon polycarbonate plastic water jugs, used in dispensers, may leach traces of bisphenol-A into stored water.

How to detect bisphenol-A (BPA)

Clear, untinted plastic baby bottles and children's training cups are usually polycarbonate. These included


Avent bottles and cups
Evenflo clear, untinted bottles
Gerber clear bottles
Looney Tunes' and Suzie's Zoo' spill-proof cups
Playtex bottles
Cherub' juice and trainer cups Sassy MAM'
3-step bottles The First Years' bottles and Peek-a-Boo cups
Tupperware bottles

For other brands, contact the manufacturer to ask if the cup is polycarbonate.

REMEMBER the #7 and #3 recycling code on the bottom of some plastic containers
, such as large water bottles used in water dispensers, indicate that they are made of polycarbonate. Not all plastics have a code!

A Few Alternatives

Choose baby bottles and spill-proof cups made of glass or polyethylene (#1,#2,#4 recycling symbols), or polypropylene (#5).

Evenflo makes glass bottles which should be available at large chain stores. Ask your local store to stock them!! (a few online sellers are: amazon.com; natural baby; babysupermall; or search google for "Evenflo Glass Bottles".

Some non-polycarbonate plastic cups include:
Fun Grips and ‘Lil Sportspill-proof cups
Stroll ‘n Snack cups

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