Tips on How to Keep Your Family BPA-Free

Dawn from Maryland asked: "How do we find bottled water that is BPA free? Is there a safe alternative to plastic water bottles? To add to the difficulty, my son has a bad mold allergy and thus we cannot reuse bottles or let him drink from an open water bottle older than 24 hours, even if it was refrigerated."

Sathyanarayana answered: Dear Dawn, I would recommend using the new stainless steel canisters for a reusable container of water.

Kristie from Weir, Miss., asked: "My baby is 3 months old and I'm using the Avent bottles. When I started looking up this issue on bottles it said the bottles made with the plastic were marked by a '7' or 'PC.' I have looked all over my bottles and they are not marked with anything. Does all of this include the sippie cups made by these brands too?"

Sathyanarayana answered: Dear Kristie, the only way to truly know is to call and ask the manufacturer if they contain BPA. If you are not sure, you can switch to a BPA-free line of bottles/sippie cups such as the Born Free line.

Rita from Pensacola, Fla., asked: "What does BPA stand for? I am a RN nurse, and also took organic chemistry in college, all plastics contain basically the same chemical structural makeup, or chemical formula, why the false scare? Why rush to conclusions without scientific data?"

Sathyanarayana answered: Dear Rita, BPA stands for Bisphenol-A. We are not concerned about the toxicity of the plastics themselves — we are concerned specifically about BPA which is a chemical that may be used in plastics. This chemical can leach out of the plastic into liquids and foods that are heated in BPA-containing plastics. BPA is very similar in structure to DES (diethylstilbestrol) which is a synthetic estrogen that was used to treat women for nausea during pregnancy. It caused major malformations and birth defects in newborn infants. BPA in numerous animal studies causes a wide variety of serious health effects, but no human studies have been published at this time. When we decide as a society to regulate a chemical, the decision process is usually based on animal toxicity because we cannot ethically expose humans to chemicals that we think may be toxic. Given the wide variety of of health effects observed in animal studies at low doses, the National Toxicology Program determined that there is some concern to fetuses, infants and children. Therefore, I am personally concerned for adverse health effects in these populations.

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