Bisphenol- A, or BPA, a polymer and epoxy resin used in plastics, has now been found, in a recent study published in the journal, Circulation, to be a possible complicating factor in adult heart disease. The study, followed hundreds of adult participants over the course of ten years, found definitive links to the increase risk of heart disease and the levels of BPA in their systems.
And why is this so important to mothers of young children?
Because BPA can be found in infant formula, as well as most canned goods.
The chemical is also more readily absorbed by young children’s systems and is believed to be linked to sexual development disorders, brain and behavior changes, and immune disorders. Breastfed babies are at a much lower risk than formula-fed babies, but the other bad news (do we need any more?!) is that it can also have affects on fetal development. Five years ago, I couldn’t get the breast pump manufacturer, Avent, to tell me that it wasn’t in the manual pump I was using for my first daughter. The American Chemistry Council claims that BPA has been taken out of baby feeding products over the last couple years, and even requested that the government phase out the law that regulates the use of the chemical, claiming they don’t use it anymore and won’t in the future.
Views might have changed, but I’m much more vigilant now about what kind of plastics are going to be in my twins’ bottles, teething toys and pacifiers. Just because BPA isn’t in bottles or sippy cups doesn’t mean it’s not in other plastic baby products, and if you’ve ever watched a baby for more than a minute and a half, you know that everything goes in their mouths.
Is it frightening? I’d say so. I started writing this at 11pm because it was keeping me awake—and I have enough to keep me awake these nights (aka Twin A and Twin B). I don’t need one more thing. But it’s important that people, and moms especially, be informed and start making wiser consumer choices for the health of themselves and their children.
Here are some ways to get started:
- use guaranteed BPA- free bottles (glass is a sure thing) and cups for your kids
- choose canned goods that are BPA- free, including Eden Organics and soups that come in those nifty aseptic cartons.
- Shop for baby toys and teethers at some of the following fun sites–
- The Soft Landing
- Under the Nile Get familiar with products that are BPA-free, and know where to find them.
Then tell all the moms you know.
Life is rich with options, and companies will soon begin to take note when consumers (and noisy moms who like to sign government petitions) refuse to buy products that contain harmful chemicals. Progress is possible– after all, smoking’s not allowed in the supermarket anymore.