Friday, May 30, 2008

BPA in Baby Bottles

One of the things I forgot from my previous To Do list post, is that I would like to have time to really understand the issues around the hot topic of BPA in baby bottles. I know that some baby bottles are made of plastic which includes this BPA chemical and lots of people are worried about that. This includes the Avent bottles which we used with our little one since they have a nipple which is supposed to mimic a mother's breast, and we wanted to do all we could to make sure little one kept breast feeding even after she had to have bottles as I was back at work.

I feel that as a scientist I ought to be able to understand the BPA issue and make up my mind about it for myself. I'm very disatisfied with most articles I read about it which don't seem to really present the facts - they usually just say that some people are worried about it and provide a list of baby bottles without BPA. What I think I understand is that BPA is dangerous to animals and people in large enough quantities. What I'm not sure about is if large quantities of BPA are really coming out of baby bottles which are made with BPA.... It sounds like if you heat your baby bottle to 200 Celsius enough will come out - but we never do that. Nor do we use (or even have) a dishwasher, or microwave bottles. In fact I've started giving little one cold bottles of cows milk - although my husband still likes to heat the milk in the bottle warmer as he thinks she drinks more that way. So the question is do we really need to replace these bottles. I don't know why - but I like the Avent company, and I feel annoyed that they must be loosing a lot of business over this when it doesn't seem totally clear to me it's really a problem. I feel like someone is playing on parent's concern for their babies. Of course we want to make sure they're not consuming dangerous chemicals.

Avent sticks by it's bottles saying "Scientists around the world have been studying the effects of bisphenol A for years and governing bodies, such as the FDA and EFSA have approved the usage of Polycarbonate plastics in consumer goods, specifically with contact with foods in mind." and "We have full confidence in our current bottle, which has been used by millions of healthy babies in over 70 countries worldwide. We always strive to reach new levels of design and engineering excellence to meet the evolving needs of parents and babies. Building on its already diverse portfolio of infant feeding products, Philips AVENT will introduce new materials into its line this summer."

So that's reassuring, but confusing given everything else out there about avoiding BPA, and also the fact that their new line will be made from BPA free plastic.

I heard a rumor that Babies R Us may be giving store credit for returned BPA bottles, so we might try that this weekend just in case. We still need a couple of bottles, but mostly little on is on sippy cups now anyway. I just feel that I'm being unfair acting on my fears before I really understand this issue. But I really don't have time to chase it down. Does anyone out there know of a good scientific article on this understandable to an astronomer with a physic degree?

1 comment:

Astronomum said...

Well I'm still not sure I needed too, but I did exchange my Avent and Dr. Browns bottles at Babies R Us for Born Free BPA free. Warning though - Born Free bottles are expensive (we turned in 11 bottles, and got 5 back), and the company is having trouble with supply, making nipples a bit hard to find. Little one really ought to be dropping the bottle though, so it worked out fine for us.