A Blogazine, based out of Park Slope, Brooklyn, that features fun and interesting articles. Topics include: parenting, society, real estate, career, style, spirituality and more. Written contributions are always welcome!

Monday, March 31, 2008

PLASTIC PERIL: Your Baby Might Have a Drinking Problem

There is never too much for a new mom to worry about. My mom assures me that the worrying will never end. “The older they get the more you fret,” she says, “because they’ll no longer rely on your choices to keep them safe”. So becoming a mother is simultaneously a euphoric and alarming experience. One great source of anxiety for me is that everyday there are new child product recalls. I wasn’t prepared for the long list of recalls when I first visited the Consumer Product Safety Commission website www.cpsc.gov. Each new product recall delivers a unique pang of suspicion and dread. I already spend countless hours worrying about SIDS and whether immunization shots will cause autism. Just speculating on all the unknown, yet to be reported baby hazards has officially made me a mother on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Most disconcerting is the fact that some products that are literally right under our babies’ noses (i.e., the bottles they use everyday) are not listed on these product recall lists. There is a plethora of information available to help new parents choose the safest product at the best value for their babies. Except, that is, when it comes to determining which products might contain dangerous chemicals. Sadly, baby bottles are no exception. Bisphenol A is a developmental, neural and reproductive toxicant most commonly used to make clear polycarbonate plastic for consumer products, such as baby bottles. Through use, this plastic breaks down and leaches Bisphenol A into liquids and food to which it comes into contact. Based on consumer research to find the most popular baby bottle brands on the market, a 2007 study of the Environmental California Research and Policy Center selected five bottle types to determine the amount of leaching from each bottle. They found that the bottles tested from all five brands leached Bisphenol A at levels found to cause harm in numerous laboratory studies, see chart below:

Exposure is widespread. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found Bisphenol A in the urine of over 95% of people they tested. Alarmingly, the median level of Bisphenol A in humans is higher than the level that causes adverse effects in animal studies. In one recent study, a single, low dose of Bisphenol A administered to a newborn rat resulted in hyperactive behavior. Adverse health effects of Bisphenol A include early onset of puberty, obesity, diabetes, hyperactivity, increase in aggression, changes in response to painful or fear-provoking stimuli, impaired learning and memory, reversal of normal sex differences in the brain structure, elimination of sex differences in behavior, decreased maternal behavior, impaired immune function, breast cancer, prostate disease and cancer, sperm defects, impaired female, reproductive development, and miscarriage.

No matter how many hours we spend researching everything, it’s impossible to know with any certainty whether an individual product is legitimately safe. The only way to ascertain the health of our families is for the government to prohibit the use of chemicals in children’s products that are known or suspected of causing harm. Parents should reach out to their elected officials to demand that they do more to protect children’s health.

If you want to switch your current bottles to non-toxic versions, you can find most popular brands make glass versions which they sell online. It is hard to find glass bottles in stores today, since they are considered old fashioned. To find glass bottles online that are Bisphenol A (bpa) & Phthalate Free, Chemical Toxin Free, Allergen Free, Polycarbonate & PVC Plastic Free go to www.NurturePure.com

If you prefer a plastic bottle that is non-toxic try ordering online at www.newbornfree.com. Born Free bottles are made from a safe honey-colored plastic called PES (Polymer) that is free of Bisphenol-A.