I am shocked to learn that most baby bottles on the market today are highly toxic because of the materials they are commonly made with, and because mom’s are taught to heat them in hot water to sterilize them and to heat milk. Moreover, many moms’s put bottles in the microwave to heat the milk even though they know it is a big NO, NO. I also learned that the alternative to plastic is glass; however, glass bottles are scarce. Furthermore, once baby starts holding their own bottle glass becomes dangerous.
What you need to know about plastic before you use one more baby bottle
A common plastic used to make baby bottles is polycarbonate plastic. Studies from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Consumers Union and researchers at Nagasaki University in Japan show that when baby bottles made with polycarbonate plastic, recycle #7, are heated a hormone-disrupting chemical called, bisphenol-A (BPA), is released. That hormone leaches into the milk in the bottle. The same scientists found that used bottles leached up to double the amount of chemicals as new bottles because the plastic is less stable than in new bottles.
Bisphenol – A is an artificial estrogen and researches have known for years that it is harmful to animals and humans alike, especially during fetal development. Scientists have found and presented the dangers of BPA to the Environmental Protection Agency, who hasn’t yet banned it from the market place despite the health risks that have been identified. The dangers include decreased sperm production in males, prostate hyperplasia — excessive growth of prostate tissue, early onset of puberty, chromosome damage in female ovaries and a variety of behavioral changes.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), recycle #7, is another common plastic used to make baby bottles. It is the most toxic plastic to human health and the environment. PVC has been linked to IQ deficiencies, learning disabilities, impaired hearing, and reduced attention spans, as well as other behavior problems.
In general plastics like Tupperware and other storage containers that are commonly made with polycarbonate plastic or polyvinyl chloride are a dangerous place to store food, use glass containers. They leach toxic chemicals into the items they store, like the food that you eat. The dangers further increase when food is heated in these plastic containers, since the heat breaks down the plastic and destabilizes it, thus increasing the release of toxic chemicals into your food. An even more dangerous situation is heating food in plastic containers in the microwave; this further accelerates the release of toxic chemicals into the contents of the container, just don’t do it.
Safety concerns behind plastic pacifiers, teethers and nipples
Also beware of, plastic pacifiers, teethers, and nipples because they can be made with plastics that contains phthalates. Phthalates is a commonly used chemical that is found in nail polish, make up, soft plastics and much more. Because it is fat soluble it collects in fatty tissue of humans where it is stored. It is absorbed through the skin, lungs and by ingesting. It has adverse health affects in the liver, the kidneys, the lungs and the reproductive system. It has been associated with premature breast development in young girls, adverse effects on genital development in male children, as well as reduced sperm count in adult males.
Beware because infants receive large doses of these chemicals because they spend most of their time indoors and breathe, metabolize, and ingest faster than adults do. Furthermore, these plastics are found in many household products, cosmetics, vinyl and toys. Additionally, food is contaminated by these chemicals through packaging.
So what do mom’s do to solve this problem and protect their babies from exposure to plastic?
- Until your baby is old enough to hold the bottle by themselves use a glass baby bottle with silicon nipples. To protect baby from glass shards when using a glass bottle be sure to dispose of the bottle if it is at all chipped or damaged in anyway. Glass bottles can be found at www.Evenflo.com, 4 oz. Clear Glass Baby Bottles (3pk), http://babysupermall.com/main/products/eve/eve10103.html, http://www.medela.com/NewFiles/products.html, ebay US and ebay Canada
- When baby is old enough to hold the bottle then switch to a plastic bottle made with polyethylene or polypropylene they have the recycle #’s 1, 2, 4 or 5. Gerber, Evenflo and Rubbermade all make these kinds of bottles so they will be easy to find. Stay with the silicone nipples. Make sure that the bottle and nipples don’t have any cracks where bacteria can live. If they do don’t buy them or throw them into the trash.
- Don’t purchase the bottles that have decorations on the inside of the bottle as they leach off into babies milk.
- Never heat babies formula or any bottle in the microwave!!! If you are using a plastic bottle you are accelerating the leaching of chemicals into babies formula but you are also destroying and breaking down the nutritional value of the formula.
- Don’t heat formula in the plastic bottle even when heating in a pan of hot water. Instead heat formula in a non-Teflon pan and then poor it into the bottle when it is warm not hot. (Teflon when heated gives off carcinogens, and is linked to birth defects and is found in 95% of humans. The dangerous chemical found in Teflon is not going to be used after 2015.)
- How do you know if nipples are silicone? Silicone nipples are clear not yellow/amber plastic. Silicone lasts longer than plastic nipples. Most baby bottles come with the plastic nipples so you will probably have to buy silicone nipples in addition to the bottles. You can find them at; Evenflo Clear Silicone Nipples Sensitive Response with Slow Flow 4-pack, http://item.express.ebay.com/Baby_Feeding__Gerber-Silicone-Bottle-Nipples-Medium-Flow-6pk-78046_W0QQitemZ250028627539QQihZ015QQddnZBabyQQadnZFeedingQQcmdZExpressItem, http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=silicone+bottle+nipples&hl=en&lr=&sa=X&oi=froogle&ct=title. When buying, be sure to check the nipple carefully for cracks where bacteria can live. If there are cracks don’t buy the nipple. On a regular basis check nipples that you already bought for cracks throw them away immediately when they are cracked. Before each use sterilize the nipples by washing them in soapy warm water or putting them in the dishwasher. This is also the rule of thumb for safe pacifiers, teethers and baby bottles whether plastic or glass.
Congratulations on another toxic problem overcome. Together we can make a difference in our children’s lives and our future generation’s lives. Let’s leave the earth a little better than we found it.