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Throw Out Those Baby Bottles

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 05-03-2009

Plastic is scary stuff. It’s around us everywhere, taking the place of natural substances like glass and wood. It’s even hidden in things we cant’ see, like the insides of metal cans. And it’s been around for so long, we no longer even think of it as an unnatural substance. Yet it is unnatural and more and more likely not suited to be used near food.

Based on what I always thought was a superstitious fear, we long ago threw out most of our plastic dishes and Tupperware imitations, for fear that we were eating a bit of plastic with every forkful of food. One product we trusted was Nalgene, makers of outdoor equipment and sturdy poly-carbonate bottles. They just seemed sturdier somehow and maybe safer. And, as we cut back on disposable bottles, they certainly were greener.

But the news this week was a lot scarier. Nalgene is going to remove the clear, hard plastic bottles after the Canadian government declared the ban of the plastic, known as bisphenol-a, or BPA, toxic.

The National Toxicology Program in the United States released a draft report on Tuesday reporting some rats that were fed or injected with low doses of the chemical developed precancerous tumors and urinary tract problems and reached puberty early. While the report said the animal tests provided “limited evidence,” it also noted that the “possibility that bisphenol-a may alter human development cannot be dismissed.”
Bottle Maker to Stop Using Plastic Linked to Health Concerns – New York Times

The problem for moms and dads is that this same plastic is used in other products including baby bottles. While Nalgene is the first to come out and remove the products, it will likely be a few weeks before all the bottle makers give an update on what type of plastic they are using for their bottles. Charles Schumer, Democratic Senator from New York, has just introduced legislation to remove all bottles containing this plastic from American shelves.

For more information on how to check to see if your bottles contain Bisphenol-a, the New York Times says to look for bottles marked with the number 7. Unfortunately, that designation is also used for other plastics as well.

On a personal note, we used Avent bottles, which are made from a hard, clear plastic as well. As of today, nothing on their site indicates that their bottles are free of bisphenol-a. Playtex has just announced it will stop using the plastic.

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