Over the past few months I’ve written a few articles about BPA. Yesterday, Mary Ann posted an article in her Home blog on ridding your home of BPA. It seems though, that we just can’t get rid of the stuff.
In case you’re behind the times, BPA has been linked to numerous health problems in laboratory animals and experts express concern that essentially, we’re slowly poisoning our babies with chemicals. BPA is known to cause fertility problems, neurological damage and a whole host of other issues.
When the news first came out about BPA in bottles, several bottles were recalled and store shelves began to be lined with glass and opaque (BPA free) plastic bottles. With the plastic bottles, the chemicals can leech into the baby’s formula after the bottle has been washed several times.
But apparently, simply using BPA free bottles is not going to do enough to protect your little one from BPA. Two independent groups of the National Institute of Health have expressed concern after conducted research showing that formula cans are also lined with BPA. Both liquid formula cans and powdered formula cans are lined with BPA. Their research has shown that babies who drink ready to eat liquid formula have as much as 10 to 20 times the amount of BPA shown to be dangerous in animals. You can reduce your child’s exposure by using powdered formula. Infants who drink powdered formula, have an estimated 8 to 20 times less the amount of BPA than do infants who drink ready-to-eat formula.
A survey of the 5 leading companies producing formula in the United States has revealed that:
The makers of Nestlé, Similac, Enfamil and PBM (who make store-brand formulas sold at WalMart, Target, Kroger and dozens of other retailers) all said that they use BPA in the linings of metal cans holding liquid formula.
BPA is widely used in powdered formula containers as well. Every manufacturer except Nestlé said it uses a BPA-based lining on the metal portions of their powdered formula cans. However, don’t assume Nestle is the safe choice. They have refused to provide reliable documentation showing what they use as alternative packaging.
(**Statistics found on the Environmental Working Group’s website.)
If you have to feed your baby formula, powdered formula is a better choice. However, clearly, breast milk is clearly the best choice for infant feeding and this is yet another reason why. There are no comparative studies showing how much less breastfed infants are exposed to BPA but frankly, I think it is abundantly safe to assume that the difference is substantial. I truly hope that for mothers who are considering whether or not to breastfeed, the truth about what’s in formula will be persuasive. Furthermore, I hope that new tests will result in a reform in health care and public programs that encourage breastfeeding.