Parents go out of their way to protect the health of their babies. Utmost care is taken about the diet, medications, and hygiene. Baby bottles are cleaned out with care so that the baby’s delicate system is not hurt. So, it would come as a shock to most parents that their baby’s bottles and sippy cups contain a commonly used toxic chemical called Bisphenol-A. BPA, as Bisphenol-A is called, is found in certain plastics (luckily not in our cup holder. It copies the body’s hormones and has been connected to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and developmental problems. BPA may be especially harmful to humans in early stages of development, according to a report by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year.
The use of BPA may soon be banned in Massachusetts if the state Department of Public Health (DPH) can help it. The DPH is proposing to phase out the chemical in “reusable food and beverage containers” used by children under 3. A public hearing on the regulation will be held in Boston and will determine the course of action.
Similar bans have been put in places like Vermont and Connecticut. The difference is, they do not stop at baby bottles and sippy cups. The ban is applicable on all packaging of infant formula, baby food or other baby foods as well. This has led several public health advocates to state that the Massachusetts proposal is not going to oust the dangerous chemical from a baby’s diet as effectively.
“BPA is an endocrine-disrupter that is linked to breast cancer and even blocks the uptake of certain chemotherapies,” said Deborah Shields, the executive director of the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, in a statement by the advocacy group Clean Water Action.
“A chemical this ubiquitous should be eliminated in as many uses as possible, the MDPH should follow the lead of VT and CT and phase out BPA from infant formula and baby food cans and jars, as well as the full range of reusable food and beverage containers,” Shields said.
So, if not plastic, then what should be used, even for a drink holder? According to the Clean Water Action statement, stainless steel and glass are two safe alternatives to plastic.