Pregnancy Articles

Bottles & BPA: What You Should Know

Find Bottles Free of Controversial Plastic

What do baby bottles, CDs and aluminum food cans all have in common? They all contain a type of plastic made with a chemical called Bisphenol-A (BPA). If you think "BPA" sounds familiar, you're not mistaken.

BPA is used to make clear, shatter-proof polycarbonate plastic, which is then made into baby bottles, reusable water bottles, medical devices, CDs and electronics. It is commonly found in plastic bottles labeled "7" or "3" on the bottom. (However, "7" is a category that denotes "other" plastics, including many that do not contain BPA.) The chemical is also used to make the epoxy resin that often lines aluminum food cans.

Recent news reports have raised health concerns about a BPA. According According to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.'s Smart Plastics Guide, BPA can leach from the plastic container and into the food or beverage inside. When that happens, it can enter into the body. Once there, BPA may interfere with the human endocrine system, mimicking hormones, which can have adverse health effects. Read more about BPA and its effects on human health here and here.

BPA has also been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals exposed to the chemical. However, there have been no conclusive studies on BPA and its effect on human health; studies to date were conducted on mice in a laboratory.

Consumers and parents are concerned that the BPA in plastic baby bottles can leach into the liquid inside. Adding to their concerns is the fact that leaching is more likely to occur when BPA-containing plastic is heated, as baby bottles often are. With their immature immune systems and rapid development, babies and young children are more vulnerable to the health effects of ingesting BPA, according to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

In response to consumer pressure, many manufacturers have stopped using BPA. In April 2008, Canada banned the use of BPA in all baby bottles and baby products, and at least 10 U.S. states have proposed and/or passed legislation that bans the chemical. Several major manufacturers of plastics have proactively stopped using BPA in their products.

But both the European Food Safety Authority and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulate the use of plastics in baby bottles and other consumer products. In 2007, the European Food Safety Authority increased the level of BPA it thinks is safe. The FDA says that BPA can be "safely used as components of articles that contact food," and as recently as April 2008, they stood behind the safety of polycarbonate plastic in baby bottles and other products.

BabyFit Tip: Be informed. BPA is a hot topic these days, with evidence supporting its safety and its potential pitfalls. Opting for BPA-free bottles is a personal choice. If you're concerned about the type of plastic in your baby's bottle, sippy cup or breast milk storage system, contact the manufacturer to get the facts or voice your concern.

Here is a list of BPA-free baby bottles, breast milk supplies and sippy cups that are known to be BPA-free.

Note: In early 2009, Avent, Disney First Years, Gerber, Dr. Brown, Playtex and Evenflow agreed to stop using BPA in bottles, but few details are known about when the change will take place. BabyFit will update this story as details are available. Adiri
BPA-free plastic bottles that are meant to simulate breastfeeding
Natural Nurser Ultimate Baby Bottle, $12.99

Glass bottles with silicone sleeves
wee*go Bottle, $18

BPA-free plastic and glass bottles and sippy cups
Vented Glass Bottles, three for $27.99
Plastic Bottles, four for $37.99
Trainer and Drinking cups, $9.99-$10.99

Glass bottles
Classic Glass Nursers 6 pack, $9.99*

Limited selection of BPA-free bottles
Gentle Flow Bottle, $2.99
Clear View Nursers $3.99
Fashion Tints Nursers $3.49*

Klean Kanteen
Aluminum sippy cup
Sippy Cup, $17.95

BPA-free bottles and bags, and breastmilk collection, storage and feeding products
Breast Milk Storage Bags, 50 pack, $9.99
Breast Milk Storage Bottles, four for $9.99*

BPA-free bottles and bags, and breastmilk collection, storage and feeding products
Breastmilk Feeding and Storage Set Three-Pack, $14.99*

Philips AVENT
Limited selection of BPA-free bottles, breast milk storage containers and sippy cups
VIA Breastmilk Storage System, $14.99
Magic line (Cups and Sportster), two for $7.99*

Aluminum sippy cups and water bottles for toddlers and kids
Kids Bottles, from $15.99*

Aluminum sippy cups
Foogo Leak-Proof Sippy Cup, $15*

BPA-free plastic bottles
Twin packs, $16.99

* Products sold at many major retailers but not for sale at company's Web site.

Evenflo: Mimi Soft Touch, Mimi Premium, Mimi Neo One-Piece, Vizion, Fuzion and Illuzion
Gumdrop Silicon Pacifiers

Gerber: NUK Original, NUK Classic, NUK Nautical

Playtex: Playtex "Binky" (one piece silicone pacifier), Binky Most Like Mother Latex Pacifier, Binky Most Like Mother Silicone Pacifier, Binky Angled Pacifier, Ortho-Pro Pacifier

The First Years: Soothies Silicone Paci's, Safe Comfort, Ultra Kip
(no website)

Nuby: Nuby Jiggle Giggle Teethers, Nuby Nibbler, Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys on a Ring, Nuby Bug-A-Loop Teether, Nuby Icy Bite Teether Rings, Nibbler, Nuby Kool Soothers, Nuby Pur Icy Bite Teethers, Nuby Fun Teethers, Nuby Fun Links and Fun Links on a Ring
(Starting at $3.99)

Sassy: Sassy Jelly Fish Teethers, Sassy Coolin' Teether, Sassy Chilly Dilly Daisy, Sassy Teething Feeder, Sassy Teach Me Toothbrush Set, Sassy Teething Tunes, Sassy Gummy Guppy, Sassy Earth Brites Natural Wooden Toys, Sassy Buzz n' Bites teether
(Starting at $3.50)

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About The Author

Stepfanie Romine
A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health and fitness, with an emphasis on whole foods and from-scratch cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys Spinning, international travel and vegetables of all kinds. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

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