Updated May 9, 2008
Simple Step #1: Switch to a BPA-free bottle. You are looking for a bottle that does not have any components that are made of polycarbonate plastic. Try the list here.
Simple Step #2: Minimize leaching from polycarbonate plastic bottles. If you can’t switch to BPA free bottles, then minimize leaching of BPA from polycarbonate baby bottles:
- Discard old, worn or scratched polycarbonate baby bottles or sippy cups. Leaching occurs more readily from worn plastic.
- Heat food and drinks outside of the plastic and transfer when cool enough to eat or drink. Heat appears to increase the rate of leaching.
- Wash bottles and sippy cups by hand with a mild dishwashing soap, such as castile soap, instead of a harsh detergent or placing them in the dishwasher
Simple Step #3: Check your infant formula. The packaging for infant formulas contains BPA, and the BPA leaches into the formula. Canned prepared liquid infant formulas have the highest rate of leaching. If you are using prepared liquid infant formula, choose the ready-to-feed formula from Similac in quart-size plastic containers. These are free of BPA. If you are using powdered infant formula, the single serving powder packets by Enfamil and Similac are BPA-free. This option can get expensive, however. So, choose an infant formula with the smallest amount of surface area coated with BPA on the interior of the can. According to information retrieved from the manufacturers’ websites, calls to customer service, and the letters submitted to the Congressional Committee investigating BPA in infant formula, Nature’s One infant powdered formula, Baby’s Only organic, only has the easy open metal top coated with a resin containing BPA. The Earth’s Best also only has the top lined with BPA (although Earth’s Best apparently gave the EWG different information).
Simple Step #4: Choose sippy cups and other food storage and serving pieces that are not made of polycarbonate plastic.
Simple Step #5: Choose soups, milk and soy milk packaged in cardboard “brick” cartons (BPA is used in a resin to line cans)
Simple Step #6: Choose fresh, frozen, dried or glass jarred over canned foods. Canned food may be the major source of exposure for most people. The Environmental Working Group released a report in March 2007 that reported results of its testing of certain canned foods. The study found that:
- Cans of chicken soup, infant formula, and ravioli had the highest BPA levels.
- 1 in 3 cans of infant formula had BPA levels “200 times the government’s traditional safe level of exposure for industrial chemicals.”
- Overall, 1 in 10 cans tested had high levels of BPA.