Baby Bottles Banned In US
Baby bottle manufacturers in the USA are to remove a controversial chemical from their products.
The chemical is widely used in plastic manufacture and is commonly found in food and drink containers. 6 companies say they are reacting to consumer demand by removing Bisphenol A (BPA) from their bottles.
Howver, surprisingly they will continue to be allowed to sell bottles containing BPA in the UK! This decision has angered campaigners but The Food Standards Agency insists BPA in UK plastic products is "well below the levels considered harmful".
The current advice for parents is not to pour boiling liquid directly into bottles, not to microwave them or use scratched or worn ones as there has been increasing concern about the possible effects of BPA leaching into babies' feed when bottles are heated.
There is evidence to suggest that the chemical BPA can interfere with healthy growth and body functions and mimics the effect of the hormone oestrogen in the body. Babies are particularly vulnerable to hormone mimicking effects as they grow rapidly in the early months and years.
Research carried out at Exeter University found that adults with high levels of BPA in their system were more prone to heart disease and diabetes. Dr Iain Lang, who led the study, said: "There is not enough to provide us with the evidence to say there is definitely a link, there is definitely something going on.
In 2008, Canada formally declared BPA a hazardous substance and announced plans to ban the import or sale of bottles containing it. Now six of the leading manufacturers in the US have voluntarily withdrawn it, but only for domestic sales.
Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust, said:
"The NCT welcomes the news that six USA companies have agreed to stop selling plastic baby bottles made with BPA within the United States.
The NCT would like to see the same steps being taken within the UK. There are now viable alternatives to BPA that can be used to produce clear plastic baby bottles. There is no reason to continue using this chemical when there is concern about its potential risks to new born babies.'
It has been reported that Avent, Disney First Years, Gerber, Dr. Brown, Playtex and Evenflow voluntarily stopped manufacturing BPA baby bottles for sale within the USA."
Dr Howard Stoate, a member of the Commons health committee, said the American companies had made the right decision as "This chemical has been called into question!"
But the major UK retailers of baby bottles do stock BPA-free alternatives and one leading manufacturer, NUK, has bowed to pressure and removed BPA from all of its products.