When Pierre was born two years ago, I initially breastfed exclusively so it wasn't until several months later that I started looking into buying some feeding bottles for him, mainly for use at the childminder's. All of the big brands seemed to be harping on about BPA, something I'd never heard of when buying products for the girls, so I wasn't really sure what all the fuss was about but figured it was something to avoid. VUP Baby, who sell a whole host of non-toxic baby products, wrote this interesting article about the dangers of BPA, that I thought may be helpful for new parents.
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BPA Bottles - The Facts
What is BPA?
BPA stands for bisphenol A, a substance which is included in all polycarbonate products, like baby bottles, made for everyday use around the home.
Why am I hearing about BPA?
Recent health scares, concerning polycarbonate baby bottles containing bisphenol-A, centre around a report produced in the USA which claims that long-term exposure to BPA could result in health and developmental implications for infants and children. The concern is that, in preparing a bottle by heating to a high temperature in a steriliser or microwave, babies could ingest a quantity of BPA, which leaches out of polycarbonate bottles more easily if they have been heated to a high temperature.
A recent U.S study by the Penn State College of Medicine found that six-month-old babies exposed before birth to high levels of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) are twice as likely to experience wheezing - a common symptom of asthma and other respiratory problems.
Elizabeth Salter-Green, director of the Chemicals, Health and Environment Monitoring Trust, said: ‘This new research adds further weight to the need to reduce our exposure to this chemical, particularly pregnant women. It is the foetus developing in utero that is most vulnerable to BPA exposure.’
This chemical has the ability to mimic hormones and several studies have linked BPA to:
abnormalities that can lead to breast and prostate cancer
abnormal organ development
The EU last year voted to ban BPA from baby bottles and last year Denmark became the first country in the EU to ban BPA in packaging for food and drink aimed at under-threes.
Should I be worried?
There is, as yet, no long term research or evidence to support a major health scare, although the latest report from the US National Institutes for Health puts their alert level mid-way between low and high, and advises ‘some concern'.
What should I do if I'm worried?
The current advice for concerned parents who are bottle feeding, is to either switch to glass bottles, OR use a hot water-filled jug or bottle warmer to heat existing polycarbonate bottles, OR to switch to one of the many BPA-free bottles and cups now available in the UK.
Where can I get BPA-free bottles?
Many leading bottle and cup retailers, including VUPbaby offer leading-brand BPA-free bottles and cups, such as MAM, Born Free and bibi - all available online for delivery direct to your door. Further information on their BPA-free range can be obtained from the website; http://www.vupbaby.co.uk/ .
VUPbaby was created out of concern about the chemicals used in everyday products for babies and the scientific studies showing the impact these have on children's health.
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