Saturday, April 12, 2008

Safer Baby Bottles: Avoiding Bad Plastics and Bisphenol A

With the possible hazards of several types of plastic making it onto the Today Show twice this week (see here and here), many Americans are probably thinking about how to get bad plastic out of their lives and the lives of their children.

Of course, one special concern for parents is baby bottles since the food babies eat might come into direct contact with them.

Fortunately, the IATP provides the following information in their publication on safer baby bottles.

Avoid Buying:
Clear, shiny plastic baby bottles, unless the manufacturer says they’re not polycarbonate. This includes clear, plastic bottles made by Avent, Dr. Brown’s, Evenflo (clear), First Years, Gerber, Munchkin, Nuby, Playskool, Playtex Vent Aire and Second Nature.

Instead Choose:
Bottles made of glass or opaque less-shiny or pastel colored plastic (polyethylene, polypropylene or polyamide).

Safer Baby Bottles
Adiri Natural Nurser (1-888-768-4459)
BornFree (1-877-WWW-BORN)
Evenflo glass, colored or opaque plastic bottles (1-800-356-BABY)
Gerber colored or opaque plastic bottles ( 1-800-4-GERBER)
Green to Grow (1-877-GRN2GRO)
MAM/Sassy/Ultivent Baby Food Nurser Kit (1-616-243-0767)
Medela (1-800-TELL-YOU)
Mother’s Milkmate (1-800-499-3506)
Playtex Nurser, Drop-ins
Think Baby (1-877-446-1616)
Wee Go Bottle

Glass Bottles
Glass baby bottles are made from thick, durable glass that is very shatter resistant. To be extra safe, you may want to invest in silicone sheaths that wrap around the glass to prevent breakage if dropped. Visit Also, you could try slipping a snug-fitting sock around the bottle or just use glass for infants and switch to safer plastic for older babies.

Additional Resources
Smart Plastics Guide
Guide to Baby-Safe Bottles and Formula


Carolina said...

"Of course, one special concern for parents is baby bottles since the food babies eat comes into direct contact with them."

Don't get me wrong- the issue of safe plastics/BPA is a very important one, and I certainly agree that parents (myself included!) need to be careful about the plastics they use for their children- but there is a very subtle assumption in your post that really bothers me.

"The food babies eat" can be delivered in many ways, one of which doesn't require a bottle or cup or container of ANY sort, be it plastic, glass, or stainless steel. Yeah, I'm talking about breastfeeding. ;) It IS possible to feed a baby without having to worry about whether a bottle is safe or not.

LifeLessPlastic said...

Great point, of course! Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing, but I was just going on the assumption that even women who breastfeed use a bottle at one point or another, whether it be because they work for part of the day or have an errand to run so dad needs to feed the baby. Or maybe even because Mom and Dad need a day off so grandma and grandpa watch the baby.

Anyways, thanks for your comment :)

A Slice of the Pie said...

The b**b- totally plastic free! I did bottle feed three and breast feed one of my kids, so I have done both. The fourth was exclusively breastfed until solids were added. It was a win-win situation without me realizing it. He was not only fed plastic free for all that time, but I didn't work as much since I was breastfeeding, so we spent more time together. Good for baby, good for family!

I didn't work while breastfeeding, so I had less "disposable" income, and therefore consumed less. Maybe if more moms made this choice, we would see more value given to family and less to having "things", especially those made of plastic.

LifeLessPlastic said...

A Slice, Hey you can say "boob" around here! I think we're all cool with that ;)

That's great that you were able to breastfeed and never use a bottle at all. It's pretty inspiring since it's sort of the natural way of things. Very cool.

As for breastfeeding and working, I see the women at my office dealing with it and it seems pretty rough-- mostly because my company, and probably most companies, didn't think to put in a pumping room.

It's total crap that, in this day and age when women are expected to work (is that fair to say?), that a special space isn't made for this.

LifeLessPlastic said...

Oh wait, why am I surprised by this? It's not like women even get maternity leave in this country.

By the way, are there any super awesome companies out there that actually give maternity leave? I suppose there are, but nobody I know works for one of them.

Anonymous said...

Good Point LLP! Support the Breastfeeding Promotion Act! The Act is currently stalled in Congress, and isn't going to move forward without increased citizen pressure. Representative Carolyn Maloney's Breastfeeding Promotion Act (H.R. 3799) would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect breastfeeding by new mothers by providing tax credits to employers who provide a place to breastfeed and/or provide breast pumps. This makes it a lot easier for women who want to give their babies breastmilk and keep their jobs.

Write your Congressperson!

arduous said...

Holy crap, you don't get maternity leave? California mandates 3 months leave. I mean, you're not guaranteed to be paid for those 3 months, but still! Hmmm ... that must be why I left Illinois. Well, okay that and the weather! :)

LifeLessPlastic said...

California is cool. I'm not exactly sure how the laws are set up, but everyone I know in Illinois who has had babies had to save up their vacation and sick days so they could use them after their babies were born. Then, if they didn't end up with at least 2 or 3 months, they ended up taking unpaid leave, which I think most employers here call "disability leave." I think it stinks.

Anonymous said...

Federal law madates that all employers guarantee 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave (there are restrictions about the number of employees at the company, length of service, etc). So, even in Illinois, you can take 12 weeks of unpaid leave. But it's really difficult for many families to take unpaid time off, so they rely on vacation days, sick days, etc.

Back on topic - Most breastfed kids still use bottles occasionally. Thanks for the info on keeping our babies healthy!

Wild Orchids for Trotsky said...

You might be interested in this New York Times article out today:

Canada Likely to Label Plastic Ingredient Toxic.

This would be great news if Canada declares bisphenol-a to be toxic. As described in the article, there are still skeptics (including the American Chemistry Council), but an official move like this on Canada's part would make skepticism much harder to defend.

Going Crunchy said...

I was so excited to see this coming up on the news. It does kinda piss me off the people "hear" that plastic is dangerous, but until mainstream media legitimizes it nobody believes and thinks that it's too radical of a thought.

I'm so incredibly apalled that instead of taking a proactive approach to safety and health we only take a reactive approach. This is clearly evidenced through our FDA and our use of products, medications, etc.

I think the more people realize that it runs a health risk the more they might also entertain the thought that it is harmful for the environment.

Anonymous said...

I use glass bottles for my pumped breastmilk.Even if it was for formula I would hate to think that people out there were judging each other. You really never know what the story is,for example a friend of mine gave birth,found out she had cancer,had to go on all sorts of drugs and of course it was safer for her to use formula.So be nice!

Ryan said...

It is absolutely important not to use anything that could be damaging to our children, but I think it is important to think about ourselves as well. We should all switch to glass for our drinking vessels. It is great. Check out a great reusable glass bottle at .