Bisphenol A is an industrial chemical used primarily to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins – both of which are used in countless applications that make our lives easier, healthier and safer, each and every day.

Depending on whom you talk to, Bisphenol-A(BPA) is either perfectly safe or a dangerous health risk. The plastics industry says it is harmless, but a growing number of scientists are concluding, from some animal tests, that exposure to BPA in the womb raises the risk of certain cancers, hampers fertility and could contribute to childhood behavioral problems such as hyperactivity.

According to its critics, BPA mimics naturally occurring estrogen, a hormone that is part of the endocrine system, the body’s finely tuned messaging service. These hormones control the development of the brain, the reproductive system and many other systems in the developing fetus.

Plastic water and baby bottles, food and beverage can linings and dental sealants are the most commonly encountered uses of this chemical. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stay put. BPA has been found to leach from bottles into babies’ milk or formula; it migrates from can liners into foods and soda and from epoxy resin-lined vats into wine; and it is found in the mouths of people who’ve recently had their teeth sealed.

Independent laboratory tests found a toxic food-can lining ingredient associated with birth defects of the male and female reproductive systems in over half of 97 cans of name-brand fruit, vegetables, soda, and other commonly eaten canned goods. The study targeted the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), a plastic and resin ingredient used to line metal food and drink cans. There are no government safety standards limiting the amount of BPA in canned food.

Toxic Baby Bottles:

There is growing debate about the potential health implications of the chemicals that leach from some plastics, and especially their possible effects on babies.

Products marketed for infants and children are not always completely safe for their use. Many contain toxic chemicals that may have detrimental health impacts for children exposed during critical stages of development.

The question here focuses on baby bottles made from polycarbonate, a clear and rigid plastic.

Unfortunately, plastic baby bottles do not explicitly indicate that they’re made of polycarbonate. Parents should select baby bottles that are made from glass or a safer non-polycarbonate plastic. At home, parents should avoid washing plastic dishware with harsh dishwashing soap and hot water, which may allow chemicals to leach out of the plastic.

It shouldn’t be this difficult for parents to make an informed choice about plastic items for their babies

Parents have the right to know about chemicals in the products they purchase for their children. In the absence of good government regulations, but armed with the knowledge that some chemicals are a cause for concern, parents can take a few simple actions to limit their child’s exposure to these and other toxic chemicals.

Sources: EWG , The Green Guide

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