Feb. 7, 2008— -- Over the summer, it was lead paint in toys that had parents on edge. Then, the recall of 1 million cribs raised further red flags. Today, baby bottles may stoke even more concern among stressed-out parents.
Click here for a guide on how to find a plastic-free baby bottle.
Click here for a environmental, health and safety information about bisphenol A (BPA).
Read more about BPA and other potentially dangerous chemicals here.
"It's just so heartbreaking for moms," says Mary Tyler Johnston, a new mother who lives in Manhattan, "to have to worry about these things, and to feel like you might be harming your child."
Dozens of environmental health organizations in the United States and Canada are calling for an immediate moratorium on the use of a chemical, bisphenol A — or BPA — in food and beverage containers, including baby bottles. They say a new study found that, when exposed to heat, baby bottles release a chemical that, researchers say, has been linked to obesity, diabetes and developmental problems in lab animals.
Some say the jury is still out on the risk of BPA.
Click here to read about some parents who are playing it safe with glass bottles.
"When bottles are used extensively over time, and when they're heated, higher levels of this chemical leach out, exposing young infants to elevated levels of this unnecessary toxic chemical," says Mike Shaade at the Center for Health Environment and Justice.
BPA is used to make plastic in 95 percent of baby bottles now on the market. But it is up for debate whether it is harmful or not.
"Polycarbonate plastic baby bottles have been safely used for decades, says Steve Hentges of the American Chemical Council. "There's an extraordinary amount of science that supports the safety of those products."
The Food and Drug Administration, which approved the bottles, agrees and says it is "reviewing BPA's safety," and maintains that its "adverse effects occur in animals only when they are exposed to far higher levels of the chemical than possible from a baby bottle."
BPA is already in most of us: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found BPA in the urine of 95 percent of people it tested.
Dr. Maida Galvez is a pediatrician at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, who studies whether traces of BPA found in children's urine is harmful to them.
Click here for some tips on how you can avoid ingesting BPA.
"We know the animal studies raise concerns, but there aren't human studies showing effects yet ... so, when we don't have the evidence, what we recommend is that parents try to err on the side of caution," she says.
Galvez recommends parents consider the use of glass bottles, or bottles that are advertised as BPA-free.
Already this year, nine states have introduced laws to limit the use of BPA in containers. Suzanne Steward is a new mother who uses them.
"As adults, we can take a few licks, but a small body is something you want to be very careful with, and I just want to take every precaution I can within reason," says Steward.
It's a struggle for so many parents who are trying to make the right choices to keep their children safe.