Bye Bye BPA Bottles

Filed under: In The News

The top baby bottle manufacturers are going to stop using BPAs in their products.Parents concerned about bisphenol A (BPA) can breathe a sigh of relief. The top six baby bottle makers have said that they will stop using the potentially harmful chemical in their baby products. For the record, those companies are Avent, Disney First Years, Gerber, Dr. Brown, Playtex, and Evenflo. This is a voluntary decision by the industry, according to published reports.

The reason I say "probably" when referring to the dangers of BPA is that there is no lock solid proof that the chemical is dangerous. There have been studies conducted on animals that are fairly alarming, so the voluntary ban the companies agreed to seems like a good thing.

On the other hand, have we been working ourselves into a lather over nothing?My first child was born about eight years ago. No one was talking about BPA-free bottles back then. The main issue of the day was airflow, to prevent gas and colic. We tried various bottle shapes and eventually settled on one of the Avent models, which I now know contained BPA at the time.

As you can probably guess, my son is fine. But that argument is like the man who smokes two packs a day and lives to be 100 years old. It doesn't really matter; smoking is still unhealthy. Getting chemicals out of our children's bodies has to be a positive thing, right?

So while I agree with the companies' decision in this case, I do think that it is possible to go overboard. It is probably impossible to keep every potentially problematic substance out of our the mouths of our children. Unhealthy additives exist in so many products, and some, like high fructose corn syrup, are the main ingredient in much of the food that kids eat. Snapple recently announced that they would switch from HFCS to (horrors!) actual sugar, resulting in a more natural and, interestingly, lower calorie beverage. But check the labels on your kids' lunches. HFCS is a popular ingredient in all kinds of kid-friendly foods.

BPA isn't only used in baby stuff. It also shows up in big kid water bottles, like the kind your budding Lance Armstrong uses to stay hydrated. My acupuncturist told me years ago that she drinks out of glass bottles to avoid BPA, which contains "estrogen-like" elements that may be carcinogenic. So this isn't a new problem, nor does the baby bottle BPA ban take the chemical completely off the market.

There is one sure way to avoid drinking water out of a BPA-infused container. As the late George Carlin once said in his act, just get a drink before you leave the house. Drinking water out of a glass has never been shown to be toxic. To paraphrase Carlin, when did we all get so thirsty? (That doesn't really help babies, though. Carlin didn't talk about them as much.)

The bottom line is that it is probably impossible to shield kids from all of the potential "toxins" in their lives. But we should do what we can, right?

Are you concerned about potentially harmful materials in your children's lives (and yours)? What do you do to reduce your kids' chemical intake? Or is this a lot of hysteria over nothing?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.