There has been much publicity around the globe lately on the safety of traditional plastic baby bottles and the issue of BPA and phthalates. But what does it all mean and what are the risks in using conventional plastics for baby bottles -- and other feeding utensils for that matter?
BPA stands for bisphenol-A, a synthetic chemical used in the production of polycarbonate plastic. Polycarbonate is used in the production of many different kinds of products, from DVDs to water bottles and conventional baby bottles.
Recent studies have found that the BPA and phthalates found in polycarbonate can leak into liquid or food contained in packaging made of polycarbonate, especially when heated. This is a critical health concern, particularly for mothers and young children, potential affecting the endocrine system and hormone balances.
The Canadian Government has actually gone as far as formally declaring polycarbonate to be a "dangerous substance". Although it has not taken the next step of banning it or at least restricting its use, this declaration is a starting point, which could see its use reduced -- hopefully worldwide.
What are the alternatives then? A range of BPA- and phthalate-free baby bottles have become easily available in Australia and are gaining popularity. BPA- and phthalate-free bottles are generally made from food grade polypropylene (PP) or polyethersulfone plastic (PES). Of these, PP is considered to be the safest plastic for human use and has been used since 1954 without any associated health problems.
As evidence of the trend away from polycarbonate towards these safer plastics, there is now even an Australian brand of BPA- and phthalate-free baby bottles. This brand was launched in 2008 and has become phenomenally successful in a short period of time. Not only is the Australia owned aspect appealing to consumers, as well as its use of only PP plastic, but so is its amazing colour-change technology. The bottles change colour from blue to fluorescent pink at approximately 35 degrees and so visually indicate when formula is too hot or too cold. Amazing stuff!
Our children are so precious – don't expose them to the possibility of the ingestion of dangerous chemicals. Make sure your baby's bottles are BPA- and phthalate-free!
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