Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Are plastic baby bottles safe?

By Linda Hamilton, M.D.

In the last 10 years there has been increasing concern about the use of plastic baby bottles, as a major chemical component, Bisphenol A (BPA) has been associated with birth defects in mice, and there is concern over neurological and behavioral development in children.

BPA can leach from bottles into formula, and heating bottles above 80 degrees, or microwaving plastic bottles, may cause further leaching.

We at PHA recommend breast feeding as the best way to care for your baby, but if you are unable to do so, here are a few recommendations.

1. Clear silicone nipples may be best at present, as latex nipples can cause allergic reactions.
2. Glass bottles may be best. Hard plastic bottles labeled with 7 or “PC” may leach BPA into formula.
3. Avoid plastic liners, as when heated they may leach BPA into formula as well.
4. For powdered formula, use filtered, fluoridated water, or bottled water without fluoride.
5. Use powdered formula packed in cans with little metal. Some metal cans have a BPA lining and this can leach into formula.

If you have other concerns about BPA, consider storing foods in glass containers, rather than plastic.

References: ewg.org/babysafe
NIH study on BPA