I would like to talk a little bit about BPA or Bisphenol A and Phthalates. It is a chemical that is added to many commercial products, including food containers and hygiene products. It was first discovered in the 1890s, but chemists in the 1950s realized that it could be mixed with other compounds to produce strong and resilient plastics. BPA is used in hard, clear plastic, like baby bottles. Phthalates help make plastic, like pacifiers, flexible. It is believed that both BPA and phthalates can leach from plastic into food, liquid, and directly into the mouths of children while sucking on pacifiers or teethers.
These days, BPA-containing plastics are commonly used in food containers, baby bottles, and other items. BPA is also used to make epoxy resins, which are spread on the inner lining of canned food containers to keep the metal from corroding and breaking. Meaning that is basically exist in all our everyday products and it is a huge health danger.
However, even small concentrations of BPS and BPF may disrupt the function of your cells in a way similar to BPA. The main source of BPA exposure is through your diet, for instance, a recent study found that BPA levels in urine decreased by 66% following three days during which participants avoided packaged foods. Additionally, WHO reported that BPA levels in breastfed babies were up to eight times lower than those in babies fed liquid formula from BPA-containing bottles.
The reason why it is so bad for you is that BPA is said to mimic the structure and function of the hormone estrogen. Due to its estrogen-like shape, BPA can bind to estrogen receptors and influence bodily processes, such as growth, cell repair, fetal development and reproduction. BPA may affect several aspects of your fertility. studies of women undergoing fertility treatments showed that those with higher levels of BPA have proportionally lower egg production and are up to two times less likely to become pregnant. Additionally, men working in BPA manufacturing companies in China reported 4.5 times more erectile difficulty and less overall sexual satisfaction than other men.
Animal studies have associated phthalate exposure with adverse effects on the liver, kidney, and male and female reproductive system, especially when exposures occur to the developing organism. For example, animals exposed to phthalates in the mother’s womb have shown decreased sperm activity and concentration, early puberty in females, and testicular cancer. Possible reproductive, developmental and other effects of phthalates in humans are the subject of much ongoing research.
In addition to this, children born to mothers with higher BPA levels were more hyperactive, anxious, and depressed. Finally, BPA exposure during early life is also thought to influence prostate and breast tissue development in ways that increase cancer risk.
So how can you minimize you and your baby’s exposure?
- Avoid packaged foods: Eat mostly fresh, whole foods. Stay away from canned foods or foods packaged in plastic containers labeled with recycling numbers 3 or 7 or the letters “PC.”
- Drink from glass or bamboo bottles: Buy liquids that come in glass bottles instead of plastic bottles or cans, and use bamboo baby bottles and coffee cups instead of plastic ones.
- To minimize exposure to phthalates, avoid vinyl toys, perfumed shampoo and lotion. Choose fragrance-free products whenever possible.
- Companies are now making baby bottles, food containers, teethers, shampoo, lotions, and other children’s items that are “BPA-free” and/or “phthalate-free.” Always read the package label or check with the manufacturer to know what you are bringing into your home.
- Be selective with toys: Make sure that plastic toys you buy for your children are made from BPA-free material — especially for toys your little ones are likely to chew or suck on. There are so many lovely toys made out of wood and other natural materials.
- Don’t microwave plastic: Microwave and store food in glass or porcelain rather than plastic.
- Buy powdered infant formula: Some experts recommend powders over liquids from BPA containers, as liquid is likely to absorb more BPA from the container.
I am no expert on this topic but I do try to learn more each day. This is a place for me to grow, hand in hand with you and hope that I with this article have made you think a little extra about the products you keep around you.
The products in the picture are some of my favorites; both the pacifier and the bottle come from this great company called Hevea and all their products are non-toxic and made out of the rubber tree Hevea. The bottle is great, it is made out of glass and then covered with a hevea rubber cover. The wooden baby spoon comes from a brand called Spuni. It is designed by two MIT graduates, and is the first ergonomically engineered infant feeding spoon. It is superconvenient and uses the safest medical grade materials. The toothbrush come in both adolt and child size and is produced by a Swedish company (once again proud!) called The Humble Co. The mug is a huge favorite and is an eco-friendly degradable portable baby mug that you can find here. I hope you will enjoy it !
Lots of Love