Research suggests that most clear hard plastic (your baby’s bottle, the bottles in the refrigerator, the sippers, the food jars on the kitchen shelf) contain a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA), which is at the minimum toxic, but perhaps even carcinogenic (can cause some forms of cancer).

The Telegraph of UK explains what BPA is:

BPA is a synthetic version of oestrogen, the female sex hormone, and experts have suggested for more than a decade that chemicals in the environment and in consumer products may be contributing to male and female diseases, such as prostate and breast cancer.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports

Independent tests done for The Chronicle and reported in November found bisphenol A, a chemical that mimics estrogen, in a baby bottle and several toys. Bisphenol A is also found in the lining of food cans, some anti-cavity sealants for teeth, and electronics.

Then, in late February, Environment California, an advocacy group, released a report titled “Toxic Baby Bottles” that drew intense national media coverage.

When heated, five of the most popular brands of polycarbonate – the clear, shatterproof plastic used in baby bottles – leached bisphenol A at levels that have been found to cause harm in laboratory animals, Environment California found.

To be fair, the research is not conclusive and there is opposition to this view. The question to ask is ‘should we keep using plastic bottles to feed our babies, while we wait for the researchers to prove conclusively that it can cause cancer?’ What is the cost of shifting to glass baby bottles?

First published on November 23, 2007