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The BPA debate
11:29 (GMT+2), Fri, 26 October 2012
BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. It is a chemical component common to polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins and has been used, without fuss, in a broad range of applications for more than 40 years. Recent concerns highlighted the subtle effects of BPA and it came under scrutiny as being potentially harmful to foetuses, babies and small children.
Researchers found that trace amounts of BPA seep from the plastic containers made from polycarbonate plastics into the food and beverages stored in them, or into the body by handling the container. The use of heat increases the risk of migration of BPA into the food contained within the polycarbonate-based plastic container.
While The American Chemistry Council, amongst others, contends that BPA poses no risk to our health, the possible ‘health’ effects of BPA have given rise to some concerns. According to the FDA, foetuses, babies and children are the most potentially BPA sensitive because their neurological and endocrine systems are still developing and their livers are still very immature – so they aren’t able to eliminate substances like BPA.
BPA acts as an artificial hormone, and could have the potential to disrupt a baby’s hormonal development and cause related problems later in life. Hormonal disorders associated with BPA exposure include:
• Premature puberty
• Childhood obesity
• Erectile dysfunction
• Prostate cancer
• Breast cancer
BPA exposure may also be connected to behavioural problems in young children.
Minimise your family’s exposure to BPA by:
• Making informed decisions
• Checking the labels on products before buying them
• Using BPA-free bottles, feeding cups, eating utensils and baby accessories like pacifiers
• Throwing out scratched bottles and cups
• Using glass, porcelain or stainless-steel kitchenware for cooking and serving hot food
• Cutting back on the use of cans
While ‘potentially harmful’ is the current judgement on BPA exposure (as scientific evidence is not yet conclusive), South African legislation prohibits the importation, distribution and sale of polycarbonate baby bottles containing BPA.
Did you know?
MAM was the first baby bottle brand to be BPA free. All their other products including pacifiers, feeding cups and feeding utensils are also BPA free.
MAM is available at Toys R Us, Baby City, Dis-Chem Pharmacies and www.takealot.com. bottle feeding, baby, toddler