Babies at Risk from Exposure to Bisphenol A in Plastic Feeding Bottles

April 21, 2010


The hormonally active substance bisphenol A is contained in many synthetic and packaging materials and can disrupt the body’s endocrine system. It can find its way into the food chain and the human organism and a new study appears to show that babies who are fed with polycarbonate bottles are especially at risk.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is the key element in polycarbonate synthetics and epoxy resins and you will find it in most plastic everyday objects from baby bottles and food packaging to the coating used in food and drink cans and to seal drinking water pipelines and can be harmful even in small doses

BPA acts like the natural hormone estrogen and as an anti-androgen and it can affect sexual development, especially in boys. Based on toxicological studies, the European Food Safety Authority has established a limit for the acceptable daily intake of BPA: currently 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. “However, the limit doesn’t include the studies on the hormonal impact of bisphenol A, which are often difficult to interpret,” says Natalie von Götz, a scientist from the Institute of Chemistry and Bioengineering.

Her studies indicated that babies and infants absorb the most BPA and that those fed using PC bottles are the worst affected. On average they were taking in 0.8 micrograms of BPA per kilogram of body weight via bottles and although this amount is well below the statutory minimum, von Götz says that the latest studies on rats have shown that even low doses can have a harmful impact on their development.

The exposure declines with age, although the study also shows that it depends on the kind of diet or lifestyle you have. If your diet includes a lot of canned food, or ready meals in PC containers reheated n the microwave then you are being exposed to a comparatively higher dosage of BPA.

There is no need to panic, as more research is certainly needed in the packaging field, but keeping an eye on your personal intake would be a good move and if bottle feeding a baby then old fashioned glass and heating milk outside the microwave would seem to be a safer option.


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