Posts Tagged ‘plastic’

FDA concerned about BPA, chemical used in plastics

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

plastic-baby-bottleThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed concerns about BPA, a chemical used in plastics. BPA is used to make plastics clear, strong and hard to break. Some baby bottles, dishes and toys contain this chemical. BPA stands for bisphenol A.

Some studies have linked BPA to developmental problems in the brain, behavior and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and young children.

The FDA and other organizations are conducting in-depth studies about BPA. Until we have more answers, the FDA has several recommendations for parents, including:

* If plastic baby bottles and infant cups contain BPA, discard them if they have scratches.

* Do not put boiling or very hot liquids, such as formula, into plastic bottles or containers that contain BPA.

* Read the label to see if a plastic container is dishwasher safe. Don’t put it in the dishwasher unless it is.

Plastic products for babies are now available that do not contain BPA.

Recall: Frog plush books

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

frog-plush-bookAnother recall notice: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a recall of Monday the Bullfrog Plush Books from Simon & Schuster.  The plastic eye of the frog can detach and pose a choking hazard to young children. Anyone who has this book should stop using it immediately.

For more info, read the CPSC statement.

Recall: Workshop sets and trucks from Little Tikes; choking hazard

Friday, August 14th, 2009

plastic-nailsThe U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a recall of toy workshop sets and trucks from the company Little Tikes.

The toys have large, plastic toy nails that are a choking hazard. The nails are red and blue in color. Anyone who owns these toys should stop using them immediately.

The nails are about 3 inches long and about 1 inch wide (see the image that accompanies this post).

Chemicals and plastics: What’s a mom to do?

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Is it just me? Is anyone else getting more and more confused about bisphenol A (BPA)? This chemical is used to make hard plastics. It’s found in some food containers, including baby bottles.

According to The New York Times, the Food and Drug Administration stated this week that BPA does not pose a health risk. But earlier this month, the National Toxicology Program was concerned about BPA’s possible effect on the brains, behavior and prostate glands of unborn babies, infants and children.

It’s not unusual for scientists to disagree. Sometimes it takes a while to do the research studies and to figure out what they mean. Sometimes the research just isn’t clear. That’s what’s happening with BPA.

What’s a parent to do in the midst of this confusion? The March of Dimes article Plastics and Babies provides more info and tips about what you can do.

Image: ammichaels, Flickr

Are plastics safe for baby?

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

You may have seen some news reports about the possible risk of plastics for babies. This is one of those frustrating times when we wished we had more information! This post may help you decide what you want to do. 

Plastics are made from certain chemicals. Two of those chemicals are phthalates (THA-laytz) and bisphenol A (BIZ-fee-nawl ay).

  • Phthalates make plastic soft and flexible. They are used in toys, rattles, teethers, and medical devices such as tubing.
  • Bisphenol A, also called BPA, makes plastics clear, strong, and hard to break. It is used in baby bottles, food containers and water bottles.

Scientists are debating whether these chemicals pose a risk to children’s health. Various scientific groups have reviewed the research and have come to different conclusions about these chemicals. The research is unclear. More studies are needed to find answers.

What We Know About BPA
On April 14, the National Toxicology Program issued a draft report expressing some concern about the possible risk of bispheonl A to fetuses, infants and children. In animal studies, this chemical has caused changes in behavior, the brain, the prostate gland, the mammary gland, and the age at which females attain puberty.  

Remember, these were animal studies, and sometimes humans react differently than animals. We need more research to see if these changes also occur in humans. Meanwhile, the government of Canada is being cautious and has taken the first steps to ban baby bottles made with BPA.

What We Know about Phthalates
The European Union has banned phthalates from toys. But the U.S. government has not done so. In the United States and Canada, companies no longer use phthalates in the nipples of baby bottles, teethers, and toys intended to go in the baby’s mouth.

The National Toxicology Program has concluded that one type of phthalate used in plastic medical tubing and equipment could post a risk to baby’s boy’s reproductive systems. Some hospitals have begun to remove such products from newborn nurseries.

What Some Parents Are Doing
Since research is still being done on phthalates and bisphenol A, some parents have chosen to be cautious. Here are some of the things they are doing: 

  • Breastfeeding their babies so they don’t have to use baby bottles
  • Giving their babies toys made of fabric or unpainted wood
  • Using baby bottles made of glass, polypropylene, or polyethylene
  • Using baby products with labels that say they don’t contain BPA or phthalates