This is a short but important bit of news coming from the FDA about the potential dangers of plastics that contain BPA, which is a type of plastic that has been accused of leaching toxic chemicals into the liquids that are stored inside. Baby bottles and children's sippy cups contain this type of plastic, as well as water bottles, the linings of cans used for food packing, and many other containers found in our food supply (see below* for more). Here's the latest...
WASHINGTON - -- Federal health officials Friday said there is "some concern" about the health risks to children and babies from the plastics additive known as BPA, but that they won't restrict use of the substance pending further study.
The announcement is likely to stir concern among some consumer advocates who had campaigned aggressively for a ban on bisphenol-A in food containers.
"In a word, FDA does support the use of baby bottles with BPA" because the benefits of sound infant nutrition currently outweigh the known risks from BPA, said FDA official Joshua Sharfstein, describing the agency's bottom line on the safety of the additive for babies.
* Bisphenol A (abbreviated BPA) is an organic compound with the formula (CH3)2C(C6H4OH)2. Bisphenol A, commonly used in plastics and polyesters, has become controversial because it mimics estrogen and thus could induce unhealthy hormonal responses.
The safest way to serve food and beverages to children (and adults) is in clean glass containers. There are some newer plastic bottles that do not contain BPA, so look for those when choosing a reusable water bottle or children's utensils.
This is my favorite reusable plastic water bottle from Nalgene. It is very easy to use, just pop open the cap which stays attached but does not hit you in the nose while taking a sip. The handy loop makes it easy to carry on one finger if you're loaded down with armloads of stuff on the way out the door, like I usually am.
Pet plastic...the kind used to make soda bottles and water bottles does not contain BPA's. The problem with PET plastic is that it is so durable that it doesn't go away...for a long time. If you have to drink water out of a plastic bottle make sure it is a biodegradable bottle.