Bisphenol-A in plastics...

on Dec 24, 2007 @ 01:34 am

Ok ladies, this kind of goes with the discussion already on here regarding MEC pulling Nalgene bottles from their shelves. I am a researcher by profession and over a year ago I was asked to research Bisphenol A in plastic baby bottles and the harmful effects it can have on a baby. After researching this I found out that the highest risk of synthetic hormone (bisphenolA) leaching into the liquids in these bottles was from heating up the bottles or washing them in a dishwasher. I am wondering, what do you ladies do when you see your friends feeding their babies heated up milk out of these bottles?

Recently a lot of my friends have had children and I continuously see them feeding their babies out of Avent baby bottles etc most of which are known to hold Bisphenol A. From my research, the clear plastic bottles are the bigger culprits as opposed to more opaque plastics. The best bet seems to be glass bottles but I can see what parents prefer plastic rather than heavier and harder to find glass bottles. Anyway, I have recently found that I feel uncomfy watching my friends with their young children drinking heated milk out of these bottles but I never know what to say. Thus far, unless I am very close to that person, I tend to keep my mouth shut.

A lot of people say it is just hype and that everything nowadays will kill ya. The thing is this, there is scientific basis for it, but is it stepping over the line, telling people about the recent concerns that have come to light? I think being a new parent is overwhelming enough and the last thing you probably need is some chick worrying you about something that has yet to be pulled from the shelves by Health Canada. What do you think?

3 Replies

Important information on Dec 24, 2007 @ 12:43 pm

I can understand your hesitant in saying anything to your friends about their baby bottles. Some people will take it well while others might consider your concern as a critizism on their parenting skills. So if I am in your position, I think I'd keep my mouth shut too.

However, your post had given me something to think about. I think it's completely unavoidable to not use plastic bottles. But I think when I have children, I'll use the glass bottles at home, esp. when I'm using it to heat liquids. I'll limit my use of plastic bottles to when I'm away from home or for cold liquids. It's not a problem to wash the bottles by hands. We already try not to heat food in plastic containers, so I don't think it'd be difficult not to heat milk in the microwave.

It's true that nowadays, seems like everything you eat can kill you. I think the most important thing is for people to be aware of the issues and try their best to avoid it. If others have better suggestions on how to live a more healthy life, I'd love to hear it!

Ali de Bold
tell them on Dec 24, 2007 @ 02:16 pm

I would just mention casually so they don't feel on the spot. I've heard the argument many times that if Health Canada hasn't pulled it from the shelves it can't be all that bad, but then how do we explain cigarettes and other legal toxins?

Better safe than sorry I think - even if it is inconvenient and science is telling us everything causes cancer. Thanks for the additional info!

I should know better on Dec 25, 2007 @ 03:47 pm

My background is in Environmental Science, and yet I have used plastic bottles in the dishwasher and with heated liquids.

I agree with MissChickie, that a casual comment made once would probably not cause much offense. I have been challenged for serving Kraft Dinner or Ritz Crackers to my kids, and if you really get into it, there are so many things that parents really should avoid but don't. I would stress that if you make the comment once, don't harp on it. Let them initiate further discussion, otherwise you will come across too strongly. It is hard being a parent considering diet, discipline, etc. so go easy on your friends until you have a clear indication that they welcome the information.

I don't know of any parent that doesn't want to know about potential dangers. Even if they don't follow your advice, we like to know about the pros and cons of any given product.

Why do I, of all people, not be more careful? I pick my battles. I don't have time to do everything perfectly, so I have chosen a few key things to do right, and the rest I do as well as I can considering budget and convenience. Glass bottles are breakable and hard to find. Reusable diapers are a mess that I don't have the time to deal with. Using bleach occasionally to clean in the bathroom is simply a necessity. Instead of these things, I try to cook most meals from scratch (except for the occasional KD - lol!) using organic ingredients when they're available (not often, sadly!) and use an environmentally friendly laundry detergent (to name two). Knowing what I do know, I would drive myself crazy trying to avoid every danger.

I consider you a friend, Robin, and would not be annoyed to hear about health and safety concerns from you. Just know which of your friends are hyper sensitive (and you probably already know who), and go easy on them.

One last thought... You can do everything right, only to find out about 100 more things that we thought were safe for the last 20 years and only recently realized they are not. If you worried about all the issues - food, water, and air quality, obvious and disguised contaminants, allergies, radiation (natural too), stress, emotional/physical/spiritual health, educational systems, health care vs. homeopathy, etc etc etc - you would probably die early from the anxiety of it all. Most parents I know say they'll do the best they can and trust that the rest will work itself out. It may sound like a sellout, but it's reality. Same goes for anyone, not just families right?

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