A little-known source of exposure to BPA – they’re out of many baby bottles, but not out of infant formula packaging! –
When Hacah Boros gave birth to her daughter three years ago, giving her infant formula was “completely out of the question,” said the 35-year-old nurse from central Connecticut.
She was worried about bisphenol A (BPA), a common chemical in plastics and also a “hormone disruptor” associated with changes in child growth and development.
“I was aware that BPA was a problem and fortunately able to breast-feed,” Boros said. Since then, Connecticut became the first state to ban BPA from infant-formula and baby-food containers, a law that went into effect in October 2011.
Boros said she might not completely avoid formula for her second child, due in August.
“If I need to resort to it, it’s an actual option and I don’t feel like I’m poisoning my child this time,” said Boros, who is a volunteer for the Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Connecticut, which helped support the law.
BPA often is added to the material that lines food cans to increase shelf life and prevent rusting, and it can get transferred to the food inside the container.
Many of the major makers of infant formula, including Similac, Gerber and Enfamil, have voluntarily stopped using BPA in the past several years in response to consumer preference and state legislation in Connecticut and Vermont.
Even so, formula makers including Abbott (Enfamil) do not label their products as BPA-free.
“In the absence of legislation and mandated labeling, it is hard for consumers to determine which products are actually BPA-free,” said Dr. Maida Galvez, an associate professor of pediatrics and preventive medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently reviewing a petition that was submitted in March to reverse its approval of BPA in formula containers.
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