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The most commonly asked question we get on this topic is ‘What is BPA’. Well:
Bisphenol A, commonly abbreviated as BPA, is used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, along with other applications. Polycarbonate was the most commonly used plastic for baby bottles and is still used by some brands for baby bottles.
So why choose BPA Free?
Bisphenol A (BPA) has been linked to health effects during development and on the endocrine system.
BPA was known to be estrogenic since the mid 1930s. After several Government issued reports in 2008 regarding the safety of BPA, concerns of BPA in baby bottles grew significantly in the news media. A 2010 report from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) highlighted further concerns regarding exposure of fetuses, infants and young children. In September 2010, Canada became the first country to declare BPA as a toxic substance.In the European Union and Canada, BPA use is banned in baby bottles. Numerous states in the USA have banned BPA in baby bottles.
Unfortunately it is still completely legal in Australia to sell bottles with BPA.
What brands are BPA Free?
As consumer knowledge grew, more and more baby bottle manufacturers began changing the plastics they used for bottles to meet consumer demand for BPA Free. The majority of large bottle companies began the transition in 2009. However some brands including Medela and Cherub Baby (an Aussie brand) began switching their bottle ranges to ensure 100% of their bottles were BPA free shortly after the Government reports were released in 2008.
In 2009 and 2010 both Cherub Baby and Green to Grow ran some successful “Say no to BPA” campaigns which involved trading in your BPA Bottle for one of their own brand BPA Free bottles for FREE!
Some major brands were slower to respond. Unfortunately there are still bottles from these brands on shelves across Australia that contain BPA as there has been no recall on them.
Which bottle materials are BPA Free?
The main types of BPA Free bottles are:
- Glass Baby Bottles
o Durable and very long lasting. If cared for, glass baby bottles will last a lifetime.
o A strong glass should be chosen to prevent breakage. We recommend borosilicate glass or Pyrex glass.
o We highly recommend choosing a glass bottle that has a silicone sleeve or can be bought with a compatible silicone sleeve.
o Glass used to be the most commonly used material in baby bottles and has made a rapid comeback due to the factors above. There is much less chance of a any chemicals leaching from glass, than plastics.
- PES Plastic Bottles
o These bottles are ‘honey’ coloured and are the ‘stiffest’ BPA free plastic bottle. Mostly used by Avent as their BPA Free solution
- PP Bottles.
o PP stands for polypropylene and is the most commonly used BPA Free plastic for baby bottles widely chosen as the plastic of choice now amongst the vast majorty of brands. It usually is slightly cloudy in colour and has a softer feel than the harder polycarbonate plastics that contain BPA.
- Silicone Bottles
o A durable material that that is soft and very flexible. It’s an expensive and new option but there are some very attractive silicone solutions in the baby bottle market.
So the real question for this article is:
Which Baby BPA FREE Bottles should I choose?
Any bottle that is BPA Free is worth a look at for starters. Think about:
- Which brand do you like?
o There are so many great looking bottles, you want to pick one that appeals to you.
- Buy Aussie or overseas?
o At the moment the main Aussie brands in BPA free bottles are Happy Baby and Cherub Baby, however Happy Baby have just gone into liquidation so there future is uncertain. Both Happy Baby and Cherub Baby have a good range of glass baby bottles and a smaller range of BPA Free plastic bottles. There are also some specialist US bottle brands like Green to Grow and Dr Browns that have a good glass bottle range.
- Which bottles are compatible with my equipment?
o Some brands recommend you do not microwave their bottles such as Medela (who recommend boiling as their preferred sterilisation method). Nearly all other major brands can be microwave sterilised and steam sterilised or boiled.
o Know that some brands have non compatible teats and accessories with other brands. For example Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottles must use Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature teats. However brands like Avent can use other wide neck teats from brands like Cherub Baby and Pigeon. For a full list of compatibility between brands see my ‘compatibility’ article.
- Which bottles can I afford?
o Remember if the bottle is BPA Free then you have ticked the number 1 biggest box! So from there you may feel like a lower priced bottle will suffice. But be sure to check the details of the bottle.
o Make sure you can get different flow teats for the bottle.
o Does the bottle have an anti-colic teat? Or can you buy an anti-colic teat for it?
o Is it comfortable to hold and easy to store and use with my equipment.
o Compatibility - see my ‘compatibility’ article.
I hope after reading this article you are know better equipped and ready to buy the bottle that suits you. Be sure to check our hand picked range of BPA Free baby bottles from our eBay Store and remember we ONLY sell bottles and milk storage systems that are BPA Free!