“FDA Makes It Official: BPA Can’t Be Used in Baby Bottles and Cups,” Sabrina Tavernese, New York Times, 7/17/12.
WHAT IS BISPHENOL A ?
Used since the 1960′s, Bisphenol A is an industrial compound used in making some plastics such as food containers, bottles, and cups. Usually referred to as BPA, it is also used in resins found in the linings of metal products such as food cans, baby formula cans, and in some toys. It also can be present in dental sealants and composites and may be found in the linings of water lines. According to an article on the topic on MayoClinic.com, BPA can even be identified in some thermal paper products such as cash register receipts. In recent years the effects of BPA on health has been a debated topic in the news and the subject of ongoing research. This week, the Food and Drug Administration banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups.
REDUCING BISPHENAL A EXPOSURE
Some research studies show that BPA seeps its way into the food or beverage that is contained in a bottle or container which contains the compound. Plastics containing BPA can be identified by looking at the recycling number on the bottom of the product. Often, they are the clear containers. The BPA plastic number is the number 7. Avoid buying plastics with the number 7 on the bottom or choose a “BPA free” product.
Another concern is that BPA seeps into the body when one handles something containing the substance like a toy or cash register receipt. There has been much controversy on this topic and research studies continue. However, the National Toxicology Program at the Department of Health and Human Services expreses concern for this compound and its effect on human health. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned BPA from use in the manufacturing of baby bottles and sippy cups. This makes it much easier for concerned parents to confidently choose a bottle or cup for their baby.
WHAT DOES “BPA FREE” MEAN ?
Many plastics manufacturers are making plastic containers and bottles that do not contain the BPA compound. These are often labeled “BPA Free.” Another option is to choose a material other than plastic such as glass or steel. Over the last few years, there has been a tremendous increase in the manufacturing of bottles, cups, and food storage containers made of glass or steel. There are far more “green” choices available on the market now. You can find websites online for purchasing green baby bottles or green sippy cups. “Green” means “BPA Free.” One popular website is greentogrow.com Just remember, the best baby bottles are the green baby bottles.