Thursday, February 21, 2008

BPA in Infant Formula

In a post that I wrote earlier, I talked about the presence of Bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles.
Well, my search continued and I found out that many brands of the infant formula contain levels of BPA that are harmful to infants. The manufacturers are using cans and cardboard canisters to store powdered and liquid infant formulas, and they usually use a BPA-containing plastic to line their metal parts (in canisters, the top and bottom discs; in cans, the whole thing).

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested 5 brands (Similac, Enfamil, Nestle, Earth’s Best, and PBM which makes numerous store brands) to evaluate the amount of potential harm to infants. The results of their tests found that “at the highest BPA levels found in formula, 17 parts per billion (ppb), nearly two-thirds of all infants fed ready-to-eat formula would be exposed above doses that proved harmful in animal test .“ The ready-to-eat liquid formula has the highest concentration of BPA because has the most surface contact with the epoxy from the metal can. The study showed that “babies fed reconstituted powdered formula likely receive 8 to 20 times less BPA than those fed liquid formula from a metal can.” Other studies conducted by EWG and FDA revealed that infants drinking formula are getting more BPA from the formula itself than from the plastic bottles.

From the 5 brands tested, the EWG found that Nestle, Enfamil, and Similac are using BPA-based plastic only for the metal tops and bottoms of their packages – not the cardboard sides, while Earth’s Best and PBM (which make dozens of store brands) are using BPA-based plastic for the entire can. Therefore the EWG came out with the following formula buying guide:

“1. First choice :


Nestlé, Enfamil & Similac powdered
(BPA in top and bottom of can)


Earth’s Best & Bright Beginnings powdered
(BPA in entire can)

2. Second choice: concentrated liquid formulas

3. Avoid all ready-to-eat liquid formulas in metal cans”

Of course, as the EWG suggests the best choice is to breastfeed your baby whenever possible and for as long as possible. It is outrageous that with so many studies proving the harmful effects of BPA especially during infant development, the companies do not change their way of manufacturing baby products; it is outrageous that they do not care about public safety unless there is a law that would force them to do it! No wonder, there are so many kids with various illnesses and cancer. It is just too painful!

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