Monday, October 06, 2008

Safe shopping for the little ones

In this week’s baby bargainista column, Jenny discusses BPA (Bisphenol-A) as it applies to baby products.

I’m usually pretty skeptical of alarmist news headlines announcing the latest toxic dangers to our health; but like most parents, when it comes to what my offspring puts in her mouth, I’m a paranoid worrywart. I subscribe to a number of parenting-related e-newsletters and magazines, and newsletter headlines such as “Why your child may be in danger from lead poisoning” are a surefire way to get me to click through.

Most recently there’s been a lot of media coverage on the safety issues surrounding BPA (Bisphenol-A), a commonly used plastic found in everything from food containers to baby bottles to canned goods. Naturally this issue has also been covered in many leading parenting magazines.

Now, it seems from my compulsive reading on this topic that in general, usage of BPA plastic may not necessarily result in chemicals leaching into our food, so long as one avoids heating the item in question – i.e. no heating up baby bottles in the microwave, or washing them in the dishwasher. But, my gut feeling is “better safe than sorry”, and as a result I’m always on the lookout for BPA-free products.

Thankfully, finding BPA-free baby gear is getting easier – if you can’t get to a local crunchy-granola health food store like The Big Carrot or Whole Foods, chain stories such as Toys R Us and Babies R Us now carry glass baby bottles and a selection of BPA-free sippy cups from such reliable brands as Born Free and Evenflo. Toxic Nation has a listing of BPA-free alternatives as well.

Do you have any tips on good sources for BPA-free gear?

UPDATE:
Good news for moms and dads! Shopping for safe baby bottles just got a little easier with the Canadian government’s ban on Bisphenol-A in baby bottles. There’s still the question of its use in other products, most notably the linings of infant formula cans – but this is definitely a step towards easing the fears of concerned parents.
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4 comments:

  1. Donna Papacosta8:18 am

    The best gear for feeding babies? Breasts. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. avent has a bpa line available this season.

    Borne Free is also hugely popular.

    Kleen Kantene has stainless steel sippy cups which are great -- except a bit cold for little fingers in the winter.

    ReplyDelete
  3. When we heard the headlines about this, we rushed out and bought the metallic water bottle for our child. In fact, we bought the very one from your picture!

    I didn't know that dishwashers were part of the problem - thanks for the info.

    ReplyDelete
  4. LOL Donna -- too true! :)

    parent club -- thanks for the tips! I'll have to check out the Avent line -- they're one of my fave brands for their sippy cup designs.

    Glen -- too funny; I think that Sigg bottle pictured was our first purchase too! Either we shop at the same store or it's a very popular design!

    FYI I think using dishwashers is ok if you use the warm/cold wash setting -- it's the hot temps that causes compound breakdown leading to leaching of chemicals into liquids.

    Thanks all for your comments!

    ReplyDelete

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