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(Sharing Information on Toxics in Everyday Life

& Providing Healthier Alternatives)


Green Guide 71 | September 1999


Plastic Baby Bottles, Are They Safe?


Peter DeMacarty of California writes...


Are polycarbonate plastic baby bottles safe?


Allison replies...


Polycarbonate, a clear and rigid plastic, is made from bisphenol-A (BPA) -- a suspected hormone disruptor that can alter the body's normal hormonal activity. In 1999, Consumers Union, replicating 1997 U.S. Food & Drug Administration tests on baby bottles, found that polycarbonate bottles release about 1 part per billion (ppb) of BPA into an infant formula simulant when boiled for a half hour. Using a different method, researchers at Nagasaki University in Japan found that new polycarbonate bottles, filled with distilled water then heated, leached from 1 to 3.5 ppb of BPA. Used bottles leached up to nearly double this amount.


Several studies show that such low doses cause estrogen-like effects in animals, as documented in Our Stolen Future (Penguin, 1997). One, conducted by Frederic vom Saal at the University of Missouri, found changes in reproductive organ size and sperm production of male offspring of mice that were fed very low doses of BPA during pregnancy. These studies indicate that there may not be an adequate margin of safety between the amount of BPA that an infant receives from bottles and the amount that affects animals, according to Edward Groth, Ph.D., of CU.


BPA-free, polypropylene or polyethylene options: Evenflo's glass and colored or opaque plastic bottles, 800/356-BABY; all Medela bottles, 800/TELL-YOU; all colored Gerber bottles, 800/4-GERBER.

2003 The Green Guide Institute

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