Monday, April 21, 2008

BPA Blues

Larry must think I'm crazy because every time he leaves me and Creed alone for a few days, I've turned the house upside down while he was away. Usually it's a big creative mess, and I wish I could say that it was this time. No, this time I read the latest reports on BPA and decided to sort through everything in our kitchen.


For those who may not know, BPA(Bisphenol-A) is used to make polycarbonate plastic, which is commonly found in baby bottles, sippy cups and all sorts of household items. Recent research shows that BPA may be harmful to developing children's brains because BPA harmed animals who were exposed to the same amount of BPS found commonly in humans.


I didn't really follow the BPA debates. I knew that Creed's favorite sippy cup was BPA free and I didn't have to worry about bottles since he wouldn't use one so I didn't think about it much more. Then this weekend BPA seemed to be all over the news. First the US National Toxicology Program expressed their concerns about BPA, then Canada made the decision to label BPA products Toxic. Now comes the announcement that even Wal-mart has decided to stop carrying products made with BPA in the future. I used to think if it was really that harmful, the US government would do something about it, but it's already not used in Europe, and now Canada and this latest news is good enough for me to take some action. Although the research is inconclusive so I may just be a paranoid mom, why wouldn't I do something about BPA when it could be harming Creed and it's so easy to eliminate?


So Saturday night, with the help of this helpful site, I went through our kitchen and got rid of anything that might be made with BPA. BPA leeches out of plastic overtime, especially as items are scratched and worn or heated (a big concern since we're always sterilizing things for babies). An easy way to identify polycarbonate plastic is to look for the little recycle symbol on the bottom. In the middle of the three little arrows is a tiny number, if the number is 3, 6, or 7 it probably contains BPA. If you can't find the symbol, you can call the company that makes it or check the FAQs on their website, which often lists it or you can check the Z Recommends site and search for the brand name and they have reports on baby products made by most of the big brands. Luckily I didn't find a lot; one sippy cup that has a straw so Creed has never used it, the Nalgene bottle Laryr and I use for water, and all of Creed's bottles (yep, those expensive Avent brand bottles all contain BPA).


But after looking around the Z Recommends site, it occurred to me to check Creed's binkies. If you know Creed, you know he's very attached to his binkies. Our doctor thinks they help him keep his reflux down so we haven't fought it and he loves them. And just one in his mouth is never enough. He can often be found like this.So I checked online, and yep, you guessed it, made with BPA. And the report on the company that makes them, MAM, is even more alarming. I'm ashamed that I paid for these products and supported such an irresponsible company! To be perfectly honest, I didn't know anything about binkies and just picked several and let Creed try them and figure out which ones he would take. I was happy he picked MAM brand because they are so cute. Now I really regret it.


Since I discovered all of this late Saturday night and we do not shop on Sundays, I tried to make it through church without a binky on Sunday, which caused a complete meltdown and I gave in. Today I headed to the store to pick up new binkies, but it was pretty confusing. I ended up buying four brand and bringing them home to check online and it looks like only two of the four are ok so we will be returning some of them. Frustrating! At least that's done and now we will move on to checking our teething toys and bath toys. Oh what fun! Sometimes it's not easy to be a responsible parent.

9 comments:

Krystal Trapnell said...

I haven't really been following this issue, but have heard a little about it. I never even thought about the binkie thing. MAM are the ones Kyla likes, too. Dang it. Which ones have you found that are okay?

Anna said...

see---being a mom is MORE than a full-time job. Reason #1001 I decided I could not be a good mom and a professor. Look how good of a mom you are! (Btw I love that picture of Creed with not just 1 or 2, but three binkies. :)

Megan said...

Mom checking in here if a severely addicted mam baby...who now attends college binky-free, and has enough brain power to get all a's. Just so you dont kick yourself too much. :)

Stephanie said...

All of hte binkies made by playtex and also the Nuk binkies are BPA free. I'm sure there are other options out there, but that's what i ended up with. So far switching from the MAM Creed prefers Nuk over the Playtex ones I bought.

I hope that helps!

lisa (lost pezhead) said...

good post. yes, i didn't really know any of that for the other kids, so baby #3 will have some safer products. yes, i've stopped microwaving stuff in tupperware and use a real plate instead and i've heard you shouldn't freeze water bottles etc...so much to worry about. it's very disturbing that binkies and bottles are made with harmful plastics!

Diana said...

Pretty scary stuff! I also thought that if something was really bad, the government would protect us, but I guess that's not the case. I recently saw a report on the PBS show "NOW" that talked about phthalates, a chemical used to make plastic more flexible. They are used a lot in children's toys. Apparently, phthalates are highly toxic...the European Union has already banned them and recently, California and Washington state banned them, too. I don't have any children of my own, but I buy plenty of toys for nieces/nephews/friends' babies. I am definitely going to be more proactive about it from now on!

Calvin Family said...

I have also been concerned after hearing about this all over the news. Thanks for the info. & website links. Very helpful! We have two binkie addicts at our house!

Katherine said...

I'm glad you did a post about it!

Valerie said...

It's never easy, but it's always worth it.