There’s something new to…

There's something new to worry about every day, it seems. If you're a parent, you've probably heard about the various lead paint toy recalls (notable primarily because they're very extensive). But if you have an infant, what you worry about right now are baby bottles -- apparently there's a bunch of press right now around the issue of BPA (a chemical that one study (out of four) found to have adverse results in mice) leaching out of clear plastic bottles (such as Avent and Dr. Brown). I was all set to get freaked out about this -- we chose the Avent bottles over the Medela (which are cloudy plastic, no BPA) because the Avent had a nipple more like a human nipple, supposedly better for getting her back to the breast. We've been using them consistently for three months -- have I been giving my baby poison???

But, on further reading, not only are the study results highly inconclusive (only found in one study, no ability to reproduce it yet), and not only is there no clear correlation between the effect on mice and the effect on humans, but the leaching of BFA only occurs when you heat the bottles. Definitely some leaching occurs at high temperatures; it's unclear whether it occurs at lower temperatures. Since we essentially never heat the bottles for Kavi, I have now heaved a sigh of relief. We did heat them a few times initially, but quickly realized that there was no need -- she's perfectly happy with room temperature milk, and will even drink refrigerator-cold milk. We usually take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temp if we remember, but she doesn't really care if we don't. There's a parenting tip for you -- if you don't train your baby to expect warm milk, she'll probably happily adapt to cold. :-)

Anyway -- here's the best article I've found so far on BFA leaching in baby bottles, if you want more details.

3 thoughts on “There’s something new to…”

  1. Thank you for adding perspective. I get all set to freak out and cooler minds like yours actually do the reading and the research. So thanks.

  2. What about sterilizing Avent bottles in boiling water? Or does leaching only take place when heating bottles as in a bottle warmer?

    I’ve been using a bottle warmer and I am freaking out.

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Avril, I’m afraid I don’t know, I’m sorry. But as I said, although the leaching does happen when you heat the bottles at high temperatures, they only found the negative results in one trial on mice — when they tried to duplicate them in another trial, they didn’t see any impact on the mice. And even if there were negative impact on mice, there are lots of things that hurt mice that won’t hurt humans.

    So while I might switch bottles at this point if you’re worried (or stop heating them), I don’t really think the studies done so far show need for concern.

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