What is BPA?
BPA stands for bisphenol A, a substance which is included in all polycarbonate products, like baby bottles, made for everyday use around the home.
Why am I hearing about BPA?
Recent health scares, concerning polycarbonate baby bottles containing bisphenol-A, centre around a report produced in the USA which claims that long-term exposure to BPA could result in health and developmental implications for infants and children. The concern is that, in preparing a bottle by heating to a high temperature in a steriliser and/or microwave, babies could ingest a small quantity of BPA, which leaches out of polycarbonate bottles more easily if they have been heated to a high temperature.
Should I be worried?
There is, as yet, no long term research or evidence to support a major health scare, and the latest report from the US National Institutes for Health puts their alert level mid-way between low and high, and advises some concern'.
What should I do if I'm worried?
The current advice for concerned parents who are bottle feeding, is to either switch to glass bottles, OR use a hot water-filled jug or bottle warmer to heat existing polycarbonate bottles, OR to switch to one of the many BPA-free bottles and cups now available in the UK.
Where can I get BPA-free bottles?
Most of the leading bottle and cup manufacturers, including Tommee Tippee, Philips Avent, MAM, Medela, Mothercare and NUK offer BPA-free bottles and cups, which are available from most leading supermarkets, and independent pharmacies. Further information on their BPA-free ranges can be obtained from their websites.
To read more of the US National Institutes for Health report on BPA, click here