I was as confused as the next person about this “BPA” which suddenly seems to be in all our babies products. As a Mum I was slightly concerned. What is BPA? And is it really a danger to my child?
So I decided to find out and below is a summary of the facts. Naturally, most parents want to be aware of potential dangers to their children.
Bisphnol A (BPA) is basically a chemical that can be found in many types of plastics.
It has actually been suspected of being potentially hazardous to humans since 1930’s. But has only really been in the media a lot since 2008, when many governments released reports questioning its safety.
Regulatory bodies have set ‘safe levels’ for humans. Although these ‘safe levels’ are now under scrutiny. It was concluded by experts in the U.S. that there was concern about infant’s brain development and their future fertility.
There are still many tests being carried out and further effects of BPA on foetuses, infants and children is likely to be released in the future.
Possible side effects include a range of things: lack of concentration, hyperactivity, disrupted thyroid, breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, colonic inflammation, obesity.
So what exactly does this have to do with your baby?
Babies that are fed formula milk have a much higher exposure to BPA than breast fed babies, as BPA can leach from the plastic bottles and into the milk when being heated in the microwave.
When it comes to weaning, all infants are potentially at risk because the most commonly used material for baby feeding equipment is plastic. When plastic is heated up, BPA is known to leach out of the plastic and into the food.
To avoid BPA consumption, you are better off not microwaving your baby’s food in a plastic bowl. Dishwashers and harsh detergents can also increase the amount of BPA that can be leached from the plastics.
Luckily there alternatives to using plastic containing BPA; you can use glass, silicone, or special BPA free plastics. Just keep your eyes peeled for labels which state – BPA Free.
And what is being done about this?
The world is reacting in varying degrees to this fairly recent hype.
There is no widely accepted safe does. Scientists cannot agree on the dangers of BPA at this time. It is certainly being investigated further by many governments.
Canada is the first country to declare BPA as a hazardous substance. Their Health Minister Tony Clement has now banned the import, sale and advertisement of bottles, cups and pacifiers that contain BPA. Canadians argue that while bottle fed babies are within the said ‘safe limit’, the margins are not high enough.
Denmark has now joined Canada with their decision to ban BPA products for babies.
America is divided in its opinion about BPA; some states have already imposed a ban. The U.S. government is currently spending $30,000,000 researching its effects.
While Australia and New Zealand’s Food Standards Authority is saying that the levels of BPA in baby bottles is low, when used properly. The rest of the worlds concerns cannot be over looked. Many Australian and New Zealand’s baby shops have taken it upon themselves to ban BPA products in their own stores.
At the end of the day, with your child’s future health at stake and other alternatives to BPA products easily available. It’s a no brainer. Why take the risk?