An Overview of Safe Baby Bottles

How to Find BPA Free Baby Bottles Such as Glass Baby Bottles

As the vessels used for our children’s first meals, using natural, safe baby bottles is nearly as important as feeding your baby a natural diet. Toxic baby bottles are created from unsafe materials that can leach into your baby’s food and cause numerous short and long-term health problems. Learn how you can choose the best baby bottle for your baby's health and that are inherently more environmentally friendly. 

 

The problems with conventional plastic baby bottles

Though plastic bottles are more lightweight and less breakable than other options like glass, they come with a few serious human health concerns that you ought to be aware of:

  • Bisphenol A (BPA): This chemical is used to make #7 polycarbonate bottles and has been linked to neural, reproductive, and developmental health problems in babies. Though steps have been taken to remove this chemical from baby bottles, it may be present in some brands and in secondhand bottles.[1] Sometimes polycarbonate is identified as “PC” on the bottom of the product.
  • Latex nipples: Many babies have allergies to latex and this material can result in anaphylactic reactions, eczema, and hypersensitivity.[2]
  • Plastic bottle liners: These are made of soft plastic that can allow chemicals to seep into your formula or breast milk especially when warmed in the microwave.[3]
  • Polyvinylchloride (PVC) nipples and bottles: PVC can be used to make a variety of parts for your baby’s feeding regime, but it should be avoided if possible. Manufacturing and disposing of PVC creates dioxins which cause neurological, reproductive, developmental, and hormonal health problems.[4] PVC plastic is highly flexible and can be identified by the #3 in the chasing recycling arrows.

 

Choosing healthier, non toxic baby bottles

Though organic baby bottles have yet to be invented, there are many non toxic, safe baby bottle choices that will ensure your little one’s feeding time is safer than it might be with toxic plastic bottles. When shopping for natural baby bottles and accessories, seek out the following characteristics:

  • Glass baby bottles: In the debate between glass vs. plastic baby bottles, glass wins out every time. Though breakable, these will be bpa free baby bottles that are non toxic and even recyclable when you’re done with them. You can often buy sleeves that will help prevent breakage.
  • Polypropylene and polyethylene plastic: Marked with #1, #2, or #5 in the chasing recycling arrows, these plastics will be BPA-free and are also recyclable (though #5 plastic has been shown to be the safest of the three options). 
  • BPA-free plastic bottles: Some polycarbonate plastic bottles are now being made without the use of BPA and should be safer, although heating them in the microwave is not recommended. Only choose this option if it is labeled as BPA-free.
  • Phthalate-free bottles: Phthalates are another class of chemicals used to make soft plastics. They have been linked to numerous health problems, including cancer, endocrine disruption, development delays, and reproductive system damage.[5] If you’re buying liners, covers, or bottles made of soft plastic such as PVC, look for options labeled as phthalate-free.
  • Silicone baby bottle nipples: A good alternative to latex, this material is safer and won’t contribute to allergies or sensitivities. It is also less porous so will resist bacteria more readily.[6] Just be sure to look for silicone nipples that are either clear or brightly colored and not brownish.

There are numerous companies now making safer bottles for babies, but here’s a list of companies you can trust:

When preparing a bottled meal for your baby, whether breast milk or formula, amp up the healthfulness by following a few more steps to ensure there are no contaminants in your baby’s beverage:

  • Use filtered water: There may be contaminants in your water that can be harmful to your baby when mixed with formula. Your filter should remove fluoride (a reverse osmosis filter works for this).
  • Heat on the stove: Don’t warm your baby’s milk in the microwave, especially if using plastic, as this may cause uneven heating and the leaching of chemicals from the container.





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References

1 Environmental Health Reports. (2007, February 27). Retrieved May 18, 2010, from Environment California: http://www.environmentcalifornia.org/reports/environmental-health/environmental-health-reports/toxic-baby-bottles

2 Latex Allergy. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2010, from American Family Physician: http://www.aafp.org/afp/980101ap/reddy.html

3 Plastic Baby Bottles and BPA . (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2010, from Healthy Child: http://www.healthychild.com/protect-your-baby-from-toxic-exposures/plastic-baby-bottles-and-bpa/

4 PVC - THE POISON PLASTIC. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2010, from Greenpeace: http://archive.greenpeace.org/toxics/html/content/pvc1.html#dioxin

5 Chemical Encyclopedia - phthalates. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2010, from Healthy Child Healthy World: http://healthychild.org/issues/chemical-pop/phthalates/

6 Baby bottles and nipples: Features to consider. (2007, April). Retrieved May 18, 2010, from Consumer Reports: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/babies-kids/baby-toddler/eating-and-sleeping/bottles-nipples/baby-bottles-and-nipples-1105/features/0704_baby-bottles-and-nipples_features.htm

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