Friday, April 18, 2008

Global Warming Friday: Duh!

I imagine that most of you have seen the recent developments in both the US and Canada.

In the US, bisphenol A has been tied to health risks, and major manufacturer Nalgene has said that they will be removing BPA from their products. In a lot of ways, this is as much a result of pressure from consumers as their actual concern about the chemical, but it's nice to see that manufacturers will listen eventually. The US studies are carefully worded in their conclusions. The biggest concern is with the use of BPA in baby products.

Canada has gone a step further and declared BPA toxic. This means that BPA in baby bottles (specifically) will be banned. Hopefully, it will have a spreading effect. I am glad that there is at least one country banning the substance, even partly, since it means that manufacturers will be required to seek alternatives. And once those alternatives are available, it should be easier to find them even in places without a ban.

Some retailers had already started to pull products with BPA, and more have announced their intent to follow suit. Including WalMart. And if large retailers get rid of products with BPA, there will be more incentive for finding alternatives.

In our household, we've tried to use glass containers as much as possible, but it's impractical in a number of cases. Scooter's school does not allow snacks and lunch to be packaged in glass, and there are only so many containers we can store at a time anyway. We have made sure, however, that the plastics in our cupboards are the more 'friendly' types and have found most of what we need made from #5 plastic. When/if we get close to Baby #2's arrival, we'll need to decide between glass bottles and something like the Born Free brand since we've gotten rid of all the Avent that were lurking in storage.

I have to admit that when I was studying in a coffee shop yesterday, I had to restrain myself from informing the mother a few tables over about the recent findings on BPA and its presence in the @vent bottle in front of her. So I hope that the information gets disseminated broadly (though if major new outlets can't do it...). I did take a quick look over at the @vent website and noticed that they have not updated the old FAQ that included their insistence that there's nothing wrong with BPA. No press releases either. And I have found it interesting that all of the news stories have focused on Nalgene, even though the studies single out baby bottles. I imagine @vent will need to do some fast and creative spinning if they want to stay afloat.

I do hope that Nalgene figures out a new formula quickly, as their bottles are generally convenient and a good size for carrying water along. I have been fairly happy with my Sigg bottle, but I fear that a good number of people will swap out their Nalgenes for disposable bottles of water--and we're already in danger of being overwhelmed by the number of those tossed daily.


Laural Dawn said...

I am finding all of the BPA stuff very confusing, to be honest.
With a newborn (who I'm nursing, but supplementing)I have spent so much time researching what bottles/soothers/sippies to use, and then get completely frustrated because I did the best for my son and I'm sure got lots of BPA in his bloodstream.
The thing that bugs me also is just how expensive some of the BPA free products are. The Born Free bottles are ridiculously expensive (I think) especially when you don't know if your child will even like it.

Mouse said...

One of the great ironies, if I'm remembering correctly, is that a good number of the cheaper bottles are OK plastics--it's mostly the Avents that have BPA. Although not all of their products have them (which I found out after getting rid of all of Scooter's colored sippy cups, which are BPA free).

If I didn't think I'd drop them all the time, I'd get glass and then plan on passing them along to friends/family.

Scooter didn't like any bottles at all, so he skipped ahead to other tops. I'm determined that the next one will take a bottle, so I will have to give this some thought too.