Your baby’s bottle may be causing health problems that could take years to manifest. Choosing a glass baby bottle is perhaps the safest-and most environmentally preferable-way to feed your baby.
But what’s the big deal about plastic baby bottles? Well, the biggest health hazard associated with some plastic baby bottles-namely polycarbonate bottles identifiable by the #7 in the recycling triangle-is exposure to a chemical called bisphenol A, known commonly as BPA. Although your baby can be exposed to this chemical in daily life through air and dust, the main cause of exposure is through diet. Many food containers, including formula containers and baby bottles contain BPA. In fact, all major baby bottle brands make baby bottles that contain BPA, including Evenflo, Gerber, Avent, Playtex, and Dr. Brown’s.
Although the effects of BPA on the human body are still under investigation, there are strong indications that high exposure levels could cause developmental and reproductive problems. Lab animal studies indicate that female rodents exposed to high levels of BPA during pregnancy experience lower infant birth weights and survival rates. That means you shouldn’t be drinking form polycarbonate bottles during your pregnancy!
But it’s not only unborn babies who experience the negative effects of this chemical. Scientists also suspect BPA to contribute to higher instances of breast and prostate cancer and early onset of puberty in females, as well as higher rates of hyperactivity, obesity, and diabetes. And recent studies have shown an association between higher concentrations of BPA with diagnoses of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and liver enzyme abnormalities in humans, even with low-level exposure. Most troubling are the reports that babies are often exposed to 40 times the safe dosage amount!
BPA can also migrate into food and liquids, depending on the temperature and condition of the bottle. Human exposure to this chemical is relatively widespread according to a 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The study found that 93 percent of the adults surveyed had the substance in their urine samples. The greatest risk of BPA exposure is to children and infants since, pound for pound, they eat, drink and breathe more than adults.
The US Senate Democrats recently passed a bill that would phase BPA out of all products produced for infants and children, but it will take some time before most manufacturers catch up with new BPA-free bottles. Glass baby bottles are a very safe alternative to these plastic bottles. They are never treated with BPA, and they’re more eco-friendly as well. Glass is a natural, renewable resource (unlike plastic, which is derived from petroleum), and is very recyclable, so even if they break, they can be easily turned into something new.
Building a healthy environment for your baby-whether it be purchasing a non-toxic crib mattress, organic baby bedding, or glass baby bottles-is important for protecting your children from all of the health hazards lurking in our world today. Our grandmothers used glass, why can’t we?
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