FDA Issues Warning About BPA Exposure
It is all over the media that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Americans should avoid plastics with the chemical bisphenol A (BPA). The Canadian government is banning all baby bottles made with BPA. Wal-Mart and other stores are starting to pull BPA bottles off their shelves.
The FDA, National Toxicology Program (NTP), and the
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), explain BPA can leech into the milk, juice, or water in bottles. BPA may lead to health effects, including behavioral problems, diabetes, reproductive disorders, cancer, asthma, heart disease, and effects that can go from one generation to the next.
As a nanny or au pair you must show your employer's this article (and google the term BPA and you will find plenty of articles about the new FDA recommendations).
You can keep plastic dishware that is cloudy or soft. BPA is used in polycarbonate plastics to make them hard and clear. Cloudy and soft plastics are BPA-free and safe to use as bottles and dishware.
BPA is found in baby bottles, dishes, and water bottles. Follow the guidelines below from the FDA, NTP, and NIEHS. Then, clear the cabinets of plastic dishware and bottles containing BPA.
1. Look on the bottom of the plastic dish or bottles. Do not use plastic containers with a number 3 or 7 or the letters PC on package? Plastic containers with the number 3 or 7 or the letters PC are plastics containing BPA. There should be a triangle formed with arrows which contains a number. This number is a code for recycling purposes that tells you what sort of plastic is in the item.
2. Breastfeed infants for at least 12-months. If breastfeeding is impractical, iron-fortified formula should be used regardless of whether it comes in cans lined with BPA-containing plastic.
3. Discard scratched baby bottles or scratched sippy cups.
4. Don't put boiling water in BPA-containing plastic bottles. Mix powdered formula with water boiled in a BPA-free container and cooled to lukewarm.
5. Warm ready-to-feed liquid formula by running warm water over the outside of the bottle. Do not heat any kind of baby bottle in the microwave.
6. Make sure plastic bottles and containers are labeled "microwave safe" or dishwasher safe" before putting them in the appropriate appliance.
7. Discard all plastic food containers with scratches.
8. Avoid canned foods such as soups and tomato-based pastas, which had the highest levels of BPA. Canned infant formula has over 200 times the recommended safety levels of BPA. But, as mentioned in #2 the FDA recommends if breastfeeding is impractical, iron-fortified formula should be used regardless of whether it comes in cans lined with BPA-containing plastic
9. Some plastic wraps contain BPA. Check the labels for "BPA-free" wraps.
Click here to see the FDA statement on BPA.
FDA/Health and Human Services news conference, Jan. 15, 2010, with William Corr, deputy secretary, Department of Health and Human Services; Margaret Hamburg, MD, commissioner, FDA; Linda Birnbaum, PhD, director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health; and Robin Ikeda, acting deputy director for non-communicable disease, Environmental Health and Injury Prevention, CDC. News release, American Chemistry Council. FDA news release and fact sheet. Department of Health and Human Services news release and fact sheet.
MONDAY: Which baby bottles are safe and BPA-free?
Have you thrown out plastic containers and bottles containing BPA? Why or why not?