Another week, another thing to freak out about… the recent BPA (bisphenol A) health scare which has resulted in calls for the banning of plastic baby bottles containing this potentially cancer causing synthetic hormone that leaches out of certain plastics when heated, is creating angst and anxiety for parents the world over.
A recent report by the Environmental Health Fund has cited such major retailers as Walmart and Toys ‘R Us selling bottles that leach this chemical, which can cause “damage to reproductive, neurological and immune systems during critical stages of development, such as infancy and in the womb.
This is particularly frightening news for us as we have been feeding our baby heated water and formula out of plastic bottles for months now. Have we already done some kind of irreparable harm to our baby? To add to the confusion, it still seems unclear as to exactly what type of plastic they’re talking about: some BPA forums claim that only clear plastic bottles contain BPA , while others claim that BPA leaching can be avoided by simply pouring pre-heated water or formula (as opposed to heating it directly) into plastic bottles.
In the meantime, good old-fashioned glass bottles and bottles that use liner systems (drop-ins, playtex, Avent) appear to the be the safest option, and BPA-free bottles (i.e. Evenflo, Medela, Born Free) are flying off the shelves in North America.
Here in Beijing, however, it’s a different story – although the news is starting to appear in the Chinese press, a visit to our local Walmart in Wanda Plaza yesterday revealed store shelves full of plastic bottles and nary an employee who had heard any news.
For now, glass bottles are fine for us (we’ve just ordered two more online), but the question remains about what kind of bottles we will use when our baby will need to grasp her own sippy cup. If any of you dear readers have information on where to find BPA-free bottles here in Beijing (aside from ordering from overseas retailers and waiting weeks for delivery), please share.