Only a tiny minority of infants never go through a bottle-feeding stage, even if they were breastfed during their first few months of life. Many of my readers are parents whose children have such severe allergies that they must always be bottle-bed.
News that baby bottles themselves might have a harmful contaminant would shake the entire population of parents with very young children.
The FDA took steps this week to try to quiet those fears, concerning a chemical named Bisphenol A (BPA).
FDA has been reviewing the emerging literature on BPA on a continuous basis. For example, FDA has recently completed a review of the available biological fate data and two recently completed rodent multigeneration reproductive studies; these studies did not indicate a safety concern for BPA at current exposure levels. In addition, FDA is conducting a review of the data on neural and behavioral effects of BPA exposure.
Based on our ongoing review, we believe there is a large body of evidence that indicates that FDA-regulated products containing BPA currently on the market are safe and that exposure levels to BPA from food contact materials, including for infants and children, are below those that may cause health effects. However, we will continue to consider new research and information as they become available.
This position is consistent with two risk assessments for BPA conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Scientific Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids and Materials in Contact with Food and the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. Each of these documents considered the question of a possible low-dose effect and concluded that no current health risk exists for BPA at the current exposure level.
For those who continue to have worries, the FDA also added this:
Message for Consumers
At this time, FDA is not recommending that anyone discontinue using products that contain BPA while we continue our risk assessment process. However, concerned consumers should know that several alternatives to polycarbonate baby bottles exist, including glass baby bottles.
You should know that you almost certainly have traces of BPA in your body, in extremely low levels. The Associated Press reported:
About 93 percent of Americans have traces of bisphenol in their urine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But the F.D.A.’s report concluded that those levels were thousands of times below what would actually be dangerous to adults or children.
Some consumer groups naturally claim that any levels of this chemical is harmful. However, that's not what the current research suggests. If you do want to avoid it nevertheless, then glass bottles are the best choice.