Bisphenol A (BPA) (page 2)
What is BPA?
BPA (Bisphenol A) is a chemical used to make a kind of plastic called polycarbonate. BPA is also used to make the linings in almost all canned food and drinks, including cans of liquid infant formula.
Why is BPA Used in Food and Drink Containers?
BPA is used because it is strong, light weight, and long-lasting. Linings made from BPA keep food and drink cans from rusting and increase the shelf-life of canned products.
Are there Health Effects from Exposure to BPA?
Laboratory animal studies conducted in the last 5-10 years suggest that low levels of BPA may be harmful to the normal development of babies and infants under the age of 2.
What are the Possible Health Effects of BPA?
Possible health effects include, but are not limited to: changes in the infant’s developing nervous system, such as thyroid function and brain growth; changes in behavioral development, such as hyperactivity; and changes in the normal development of the prostate gland.
How are Babies and Infants Exposed to BPA?
Infants are most often exposed to BPA in two ways:
- A small amount of BPA can pass from the lining in a can into the liquid formula and can be consumed by a child.
- BPA can also pass into an infant’s formula or milk from certain types of plastic baby bottles when hot water is added directly into the bottle.
During pregnancy babies can also be exposed to BPA from their mother. This could happen if the mother swallows BPA that has passed from a can or plastic container she eats or drinks from.
How can Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Avoid BPA?
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consider:
- eating fresh or frozen fruits & vegetables instead of canned products
- not heating food or drinks in polycarbonate plastic containers.
- replacing any aged, scratched, or clouded polycarbonate plastic containers, including water bottles
How Can I Protect my Baby from BPA?
- Avoid BPA while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Breastfeed or consider powdered formula.
- Don’t heat plastic bottles.
- Use bottles that don’t have BPA in them.
How do I Know if a Bottle has BPA in It?
Polycarbonate, the kind of plastic that contains BPA, is hard and clear. It may also be tinted with a color.
To find out if a bottle has BPA in it, look for a code on the bottom. If you see a #7 recycling symbol, and the letters “PC”, the bottle contains BPA. Not all #7 plastics contain BPA, but if the bottle is clear, hard plastic (or has a tinted color) it could contain BPA.
Glass or stainless steel bottles do not have BPA in them. There are also several kinds of plastic baby bottles that do not have BPA. However, studies on BPA-free products are too limited to recommend one product over another. Be sure you look at the bottom of the bottle and read the label to make sure the bottle you choose is BPAfree.
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