I remember as I raised my daughter, my mother warning me to never store extra baby food in the can that it came from. “Make sure it’s in glass,” she’d comment. I could not understand why, but knew that “something bad” would happen to the baby if she ate the leftovers that had been packaged in the original can.
BPA stands for bisphenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and epoxy resins since the 1960s and is found in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles, baby bottles and other plastic items.
Epoxy resins are used to coat the inside of metal products, such as food cans, bottle tops for example. Much research by the FDA over the past 15 years has fueled the debate and the results are ever-changing as research is ongoing.
Advancing human health is paramount; protecting human health is priority. At one point, research suggested BPA seeped into the linings of baby bottles, water bottles, cans and food containers, especially when heated. As a result, the toxin could be passed to babies in utero or through ingestion by food when cooking or reheating that food in a container containing BPA, or through seepage from canned food containers used for packaging or storage.
The FDA continues its research and to release updates. (Read more on the FDAs BPA studies)
5 Ways to reduce your exposure to BPA
The Mayo Clinic suggests the following steps to reduce your exposure to BPA:
- Seek out BPA-free products. More and more BPA-free products have come to market. Look for products labeled as BPA-free. If a product isn’t labeled, keep in mind that some, but not all, plastics marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.
- Cut back on cans. Reduce your use of canned foods since most cans are lined with BPA-containing resin.
- Avoid heat. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, advises against microwaving polycarbonate plastics or putting them in the dishwasher, because the plastic may break down over time and allow BPA to leach into foods.
- Use baby bottle alternatives. There are many baby bottle products on the market that do not contain BPA. We like the Born Free brand as it has one of the most extensive BPA-free inventories in their product line. Born Free offers 5- and 9-ounce BPA-free plastic and glass bottles, as well as sippy cups. The bottles and cups are dishwasher-safe and each of the bottles comes equipped with a specialized air vent system that minimizes spit-up. The bottles are sold in slow, medium, fast, or variable-flow nipples and as they transition out of bottles, Born Free makes a trainer and regular drinking cup — all BPA-free.(BornFree 9-Ounce Twin-Pack, $19.99, www.newbornfree.com)
- Other options. To reduce your risk of BPA in baby food, use glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers for hot foods and liquids instead of plastic containers.
Have you or someone you know made the switch to BPA-free products because of health concerns? Drop us a line; we’d like to hear from you and possibly, feature your story in an upcoming blog.
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