BPA has been in news headlines in the most recent years posing a concern for parents. Recently, Canada became the first country to declare BPA as toxic.

What is BPA?

Bisphenol-A, or BPA, is a compound commonly used in the making of polycarbonate (PC) plastic and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastic is desirable for its tough, heat resistant, and lightweight properties. Epoxy lining properties are tough, adhesive, formable and chemical resistant, preventing canned goods from leaking and bacteria from entering.

There has been a lot of research and studies on the effects of BPA exposure. BPA has been found to be an endocrine disruptor by mimicking estrogen. This can cause cancer, early puberty, obesity, and causes a range of adverse effects including behavioral, reproductive (including miscarriages and infertility), and developmental problems.  

Who is at risk?

BPA poses great danger to women of childbearing age, infants, and children. Those at greatest risk of BPA exposure are infants and children, because they are taking in a greater amount of fluid and food per body weight than the average adult. Exposure is also increased due to hand to mouth activity.

BPA is metabolized in the liver by glucuronidation, forming a metabolite which is excreted through urine. The glucuronidation process becomes well developed when the infant becomes 2 to 3 months of age. For that reason, it is especially important to eliminate BPA exposure for newborns. If they are exposed to BPA, they have no way to clear it out of their system, resulting in the concentrations of BPA to be 11 times higher in a newborn infant than adults given the same weighted-dose.

It has been shown that BPA can enter into an unborn fetus by crossing the placenta of the child bearing mother. BPA can also be passed on through breast milk.  

Where is BPA found?

Below are lists of some common items that may contain BPA.
    Baby Products
  • Liquid infant formula cans
  • Food storage containers
  • Toys
  • Baby bottles (plastic)
    Other
  • Paper receipts (Carbon-less paper)
  • Lining of canned foods
  • Water bottles – 3 or 5 gallon refillable water bottles (typically used in water coolers)
  • Dental sealants  

How can we decrease our exposure to BPA?

  • Try to avoid plastic altogether. Use stainless steel without a lining or glass instead.
  • BPA free plastic exists - make sure that baby bottles and refillable water bottles are BPA free. We offer a selection of BPA free plastic bottles.
  • Switch to powdered infant formula. Liquid infant formula containers may have a BPA lining.
  • Look at the recycling number inside the chasing arrow on the bottom of containers. BPA- free containers are marked with #1, #2, #4, and #5. Polycarbonate is labeled with the #7. The #7 is also categorized as “other” which may or may not contain BPA.
  • Avoid storing or microwaving foods in plastic containers (try to switch to glass containers or BPA free containers instead)
  • Avoid canned foods unless they specify that the cans do not have BPA in them. (Check out which canned foods do not have BPA) Side Note: There is more of a nutritional value when choosing fresh or frozen foods instead.
  • Trash receipts and wash hands thoroughly before handling foods.