In a follow up to my Nov. 2008 blog post, "BPA - Is it safe?", I am happy to report that the US government and the FDA have finally decided to take a closer look at the effects Bisphenol A (BPA) has on small children.
The FDA has recently come out in support of a 2008 claim made by US government toxicologists that "the chemical is cause for some concern." Although it seems that they are lagging significantly behind parents and the bottle industry in addressing this concern, it is better late than never.
BPA is found in plastics, usually marked with the recycle code 7 or 3. These plastics are used in bottles, cups and as liners for metal and plastic food containers, including those in which powdered and ready-to-feed formula come. BPA leaches out of these products and into the liquid inside the container, which is then consumed by the child.
Scratches in the surface of bottles increase the amount of BPA that can leach out as does heating the plastic or liquid. There are now a significant number of BPA-free bottles and cups available in most price ranges, although infant formula manufacturers have yet to come out with BPA-free containers for their products.
When choosing formula parents may want to choose canned powdered formula or ready-to-feed formula packaged in glass bottles as opposed to formula in plastic containers. This is because The US Department of Health and Human Services has reported that liquid formulas packaged in plastic have been shown to absorb more BPA from their containers than their powdered equivalent. For more information about BPA, its potential health effects, the research and advice on limiting your child's exposure please see my blog post "BPA - Is it safe?".