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First of all, what is BPA?
Bisphenol-A is a chemical used in the production of polycarbonate plastic and that's the plastic commonly used to make baby bottles. Plastic manufacturers use BPA because it adds durability and clarity to their products. BPA is a harmful chemical and studies have shown that even at low doses, it can increase breast and ovarian cancer-cell growth and the growth of some prostate cancer cells.
Awareness of baby feeding products with BPA among Australian parents has heightened sharply after recent reports by A Current Affair and the ABC. Around the world, BPA has attracted growing attention as more and more research confirms that the chemical in products (such as baby bottles) can leash out and be subsequently consumed. For instance, a study done in early 2008 by a Canadian-based environmental group reveals that baby bottles with BPA release the chemical when heated to simulate milk re-heating and high-temperature dish washing and microwave-steaming.
So what can you do to protect your baby from this harmful chemical?
Well, choose BPA-free products. It is that simple!
The obvious choice, of course, is to use glass products. However, glass baby bottles are heavier, harder to find, twice as expensive as plastic bottles, and prone to breaking which could pose harm to your baby. Also, there are no milk bags and baby cups made of glass so it's unavoidable that you will come across plastic breastfeeding products at some stage.
If you're going with plastic, make sure all plastic products and accessories (bottles, sippy cups, storage & freezer bags) you're buying are made from polypropylene or polyethylene, which is BPA-free. Pliable, milky-coloured plastic products are also safe.
Keep in mind that there are a lot of baby feeding products, even from well known brands, that still use plastic with BPA. If all the technical terms here are too confusing, stick to this latest simple rating guide on BPA-free baby bottles by US-based independent consumer website "Zrecs".
- Excellent: Medela (all models are safe)
- Fair or Poor: Dr. Brown's, Evenflo, Gerber, Playtex, Tommee Tippee, Ameda, Avent (few or no BPA-free models)
I've only selected from the guide brands that are familiar to Australian parents. If you're considering other brands, be sure to check before you buy.
Enjoy safe breastfeeding and breast-pumping!
Please also check out my other Guides on related breastfeeding and breast-pumping topics.
Hi my name is Pia and I'm a qualified early childhood educator who has worked directly with hundreds of babies, children and families in Australia and Canada over the past 8 years. Thanks for stopping by and reading my Guide. For more information, drop by my eBay Store and check out quality BPA-free breastfeeding products that I've personally picked for you.