Can We Really Trust Plastics When it Comes to Our Kids? The Truth About BPAs

“A healthy outside starts from the inside” Robert Urich

We live in a plastic world. From the moment we wake up we’re in contact with plastics – your toothbrush, your toothpaste tube, your bread and cereal packaging, your mobile phone and computer. But could the chemicals in plastics actually be harmful? And if so, what should we be doing about it?

The harmful chemicals in plastics
The controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is found in many household items. It’s the main component of polycarbonate, the hard, clear plastic commonly found in consumer products such as water bottles, baby bottles, food storage containers, contact lenses, CDs and electronics devices – even the protective lining in tin cans and receipts.

A growing body of research has linked BPAs to a whole range of health problems, including a higher risk of certain cancers, reduced fertility, birth defects and diabetes.  

So what do we do about it? Plastics are so intertwined with our daily lives that it would be hard to avoid them altogether. But what raised a red flag for me was that in young children, BPAs mimic estrogen in the body and so may cause developmental hormonal disruptions.

The alternative to plastic baby bottles
Plastic baby bottles may be ultra-convenient – lightweight and unbreakable – but strong evidence indicates that when heated, plastic baby bottles that contain BPA leach high levels of the chemical.  In 2012, the U.S. Federal and Drug Administration banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups. All baby bottles and sippy cups sold in the USA are now BPA-free.  Newer baby bottles are made from BPA-free plastics, such as polypropelyne, and are labeled as such. 

But even with BPA-free bottles now on the market, when it comes to my children I choose to simply go plastic-free when they eat and drink.  50 years ago they said – and we believed – that BPA was safe.  Who’s to say another 20 years from now we find out another plasticizer is toxic?  In 2011 a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that all plastics contain estrogenic activity (EA) and in some cases, those labeled “BPA free” leached more chemicals with EA than did BPA-containing products.

So with my second child in 2011 I bought glass baby bottles.  Yes they were heavier, yes they were more difficult to find (at the time), and yes it was a bit more expensive – but glass is a classic and natural choice.  Glass baby bottles have been around for decades and were the only bottles that used to be available to parents, who got along fine with them! Perhaps old-fashioned glass wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

Going glass is a decision I stand by. Glass bottles don’t contain any chemicals that could get into mother’s breastmilk or baby’s formula, causing potentially harmful changes to development.  When my kids were young, I bought glass baby bottles from a California company called Lifefactory, who had recently launched glass baby bottles with silicone sleeves to prevent them from shattering.

Where to buy lovely glass baby bottles
Today, my children and I still love drinking from our Lifefactory bottles, and they now carry a full range of products from birth and beyond.  They’re safe and trendy at the same time; they come in a wide range of beautiful silicone sleeve colours.  And fortunately you won’t have the same hassle I did of having to buy from abroad. Lifefactory glass bottles just launched in the U.K. and France by distributors A Hip Kid.

Visit their website and find your local retailer. 

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