Sunday, April 20, 2008

BPA Free in '03. . .er, '08

A geometric print top in blues and greens; a denim skirt; blue, faux-suede flip-flops; blue plastic bracelet.

What She Ate: I had a cheeseburger with BBQ sauce and bacon for lunch and for dinner I was still full, so I had a side dish of macaroni and a side salad.

We're in the process of going BPA-free over at my house. If this sentence confuses you than don't worry--I was the exact same way 48 hours ago. Of course, some people watch the news and those people may have already heard about this.

Basically, BPA is an abbreviation for Bisphenol A. In studies, Bisphenol A has been shown to to have a toxic affect on animals. BPA is used to make a variety of plastic products including water bottles and most clear plastics on the market today. Bisphenol has a tendency to leach into things--especially hot liquids.

Guess which hot liquid is frequently stored in clear plastic bottles? If you guessed formula then you're right on the money. Infants who are on formula are exposed to crazy amounts of the stuff.

Charlie doesn't take warm formula--the little nut prefers a cold bottle, but even so, we've decided to go BPA free over here. I can't, in good conscious, allow my child to potentially be poisoned because it's a hassle and expense to go out and buy new bottles.

Here's a couple of things that tick me off about the whole thing:

First, the available data about BPA came out in around '06, and yet I've never heard about this until Canada announced that products containing BPA would no longer be sold in their country. I have read a ton of parenting books, and never once have I read one thing about this.

Second, BPA free bottles are actually cheaper than the bottles I purchased originally. They're less than half the price. The use of BPA appears to be a cosmetic thing--buy the pretty bottles! Poison your children!

Thirdly, I feel like the medical establishment should take a little notice of issues like this. Charlie has brain injury--it's not like we have brain cells to waste here. When he left the hospital EVERYTHING was regulated: the amount he was fed, how the formula was prepared, how often he was fed. His medications were on a schedule and I was given a list of over-the-counter medications and foods he wasn't allowed to have. So, I'm following these instructions to the letter never knowing that all my careful preparations were being served in controversial containers. I can't tell you the number of medical professionals who've warned me against Johnny jump-ups or wheeled walkers, but no mention of bottles leaking toxic chemicals into formula.

I feel duty-bound to say that the research regarding BPA is still confusing--it's not clear-cut. I, however, am not going to wait for science to prove that BPA causes autism, a lower I.Q., ADD, or whatever else. I'm not in the habit of making myself or my family a guinea pig while the scientists get around to proving stuff. Smoke doesn't always mean fire, but you'd be a fool to ignore it.

PS: If you are interested in going going BPA free for your children then I found this website which is pretty comprehensive.