3 Things you need to know about BPA
BPA is a chemical found in some plastics, including polycarbonate baby bottles. But after scientists found evidence of an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer, early puberty and obesity most bottle manufacturers switched to BPA-free production.
1. What is BPA?
BPA stands for Bisphenol-A and is a chemical added to plastics, particularly polycarbonate plastics. Polycarbonate plastic, which is clear and nearly shatter-proof, is used to make a variety of common products including baby and water bottles, sports equipment, medical and dental devices, eyeglass lenses, CDs and DVDs, and other household electronics.
That's why BPA baby bottles often look slightly yellowed or cloudy.
2. Why is it dangerous?
Research has indicated that small amouts of BPA leak out of the plastic which the body then absorbs. The chemical acts as an endocrine disrupter (which mimic the body's hormones) which has suggested health implications such as early puberty, behavioural changes and breast/prostate cancers. Heating the container (ie in the microwave or with hot water) increases the risk of leakage.
3. How would I know something contains BPA?
There are seven classes of plastics used in packaging applications. Type 7 is the catch-all class, and some type 7 plastics, such as polycarbonate (sometimes identified with the letters "PC" near the recycling symbol) and epoxy resins, are made from Bisphenol A monomer. If you look for the recylcing symbol on the packaging if it has a 7 or 3 or the letters PC - the product contains BPA.
BPA-FREE bottles available in the UK are:
- Avent BPA-Free
- Dr Brown's
- MAM BPA-Free
- Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature
- Vital Baby Nurture
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