Seven tips to avoid toxic products

Last updated: 1/5/2012

Tips for the health of your baby, child, and yourself:

1.   Buy baby bottles that are labeled BPA-free.  Many baby bottles are made with polycarbonate plastic which contains BPA.  Soft or cloudy colored plastic does not contain BPA, nor do glass baby bottles.  Companies such as Medela and Green to Grow have been selling BPA-free baby bottles for years.

2.   Do not heat or cool baby bottles if they are made from polycarbonate plastic.  When heated in a microwave, for example, BPA easily leaches from the plastic into the liquid in the baby bottle.  Additionally, keep baby bottles away from the dishwasher, freezer, and even prolonged exposure to sunlight.

3.   Choose powdered infant formula.  BPA is used in the lining of metal formula containers, and tests show that BPA leaches into formula from the can.

4.   Avoid food containers labeled #7 or PC on the bottom.  Polycarbonate is typically labeled PC or has the recycling symbol #7 on the bottom.  Not all products with the #7 are polycarbonate, but this is a reasonable measure to take.

5.   Reduce canned food consumption.  BPA is used in the lining of most canned goods.  Studies show beverage cans have the lowest BPA levels, while pasta and soup cans contain some of the highest levels.

6.   Buy the right metal water bottles.  Many water bottles are lined with a coating containing BPA.  Look for stainless steel water bottles.

7.   Discard old or scratched plastic food containers and bottles.  When plastic containing BPA is scratched, the chemical may more easily leach into liquid or food.

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