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What is BPA and why is it bad?

Many parents are not aware of BPA, what it is and why it’s bad. Let’s break it down, simply.

When I began designing products for Everyday Sunshine I was researching silicone, what it’s made of, and if it’s safe for children. I kept running into the words BPA Free. I didn’t know the true meaning of BPA, what it was and what makes products “BPA Free”. During my research, there were arguments that there is not enough evidence to classify BPA as “bad” but I chose to believe the studies and evidence that it is bad, why and to ensure all products that I offer do not include BPA.

I won’t even share Wikipedia’s definition of BPA. Let’s just say it has a lot of words that none of us, well me particularly, can even pronounce. So, why would we want any of that in our child’s products that they are eating with, teething with, or even playing with? We don’t.

What is BPA?

Simply put, BPA (Bisphenol A) is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastic and resins including food containers, baby bottles, and hygiene products since the 1960s. It was realized in the ’50s that it could be mixed with other components to make produce strong and resilient plastics.

Is it harmful?

Research has shown that when this chemical is used to make products the chemical can seep into food or beverages from containers made with BPA. When BPA containers are made, not all the BPA gets sealed into the product. This allows for the BPA to break free and consumed. This in turn is a concern because of possible health effects on the brain and prostate gland of fetuses, infants, and children due to BPA exposure. The toxic chemical has also been linked to an increased likelihood of childhood asthma, metabolic disease, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. A study by WHO revealed that BPA levels in breastfed babies were up to eight times lower than those in babies fed liquid formula from BPA- containing bottles.

Can BPA affect children’s behavior?

Yes. Studies have shown children born to mothers with higher BPA levels were more hyperactive, anxious, and depressed. They also showed 1.5 times more emotional reactivity and 1.1 times more aggressiveness.

Here are some tips on what to look for in products and making sure BPA stays out of your home…

  • Avoid packaged foods: Eat mostly fresh, whole foods. Stay away from canned foods or foods packaged in plastic containers labeled with recycling numbers 3 or 7 or the letters “PC.”

  • Drink from glass bottles: Buy liquids that come in glass bottles instead of plastic bottles or cans, and use glass baby bottles instead of plastic ones.

  • Stay away from BPA products: As much as possible, limit your contact with receipts, as these contain high levels of BPA.

  • Be selective with toys: Make sure that plastic toys you buy for your children are made from BPA-free material — especially for toys your little ones are likely to chew or suck on.

  • Don’t microwave plastic: Microwave and store food in glass rather than plastic.

  • Buy powdered infant formula: Some experts recommend powders over liquids from BPA containers, as liquid is likely to absorb more BPA from the container.

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