Friday, March 6, 2009

Toy Thursday - BPA

This week toxin is BPA.

Many of you already have swapped out all your plastic baby bottles for BPA free ones; but did you know many toys also contain BPA.

Lets first look at what is BPA. BPA is short for Bisphenol A; Bisphenol A is "a difunctional building block of several important polymers and polymer additives ... Suspected of being hazardous to humans since the 1930s."1

"More than 200 animal studies show that BPA is toxic at very low doses, while the Centers for Disease Control has found BPA in 95 percent of people tested at levels that raise health concerns. The peer—reviewed science suggests that BPA may be contributing to increases in many adverse health conditions in the human population including breast cancer, prostate cancer and insulin resistance."2

In Canada it's very hard to find a baby bottle made of BPA these days, but 1000's of toys that are made from plastics containing BPA line the shelves in our our toy stores. Most people think that you can only get BPA from food but that is not the case. "While most exposure is through diet, exposure can also occur through air and through skin absorption."1 And that would be whi I classify BPA toys as toxic.

Before you start betting yourself over for letting your child play with plastic, I will admit even Christophe has a few plastic toys, we have legos and this ball and tower thing that is made from plastic (they were both hand me downs); however the majority of his toys are BPA free.

How do you avoid BPA in toys:
  1. Don't buy plastic toys
  2. If you buy plastic make sure they are labeled BPA free
  3. If no label exits, take the time to contact the manufacturer and ask them what kind of plastics are used in the manufacturing of the toy. You would be surprised how quick you are will get an answer.
  4. Stay away from toys made from polycarbonate usually labeled as number 7.
BPA is not the only type of plastic that is toxic in future weeks we will look at phatale and PVC.

I think it is also worth mentioning other areas that you or your child can be exposed to BPA: Infant formula, canned food, fillings at the dentist, plastic dishes, glasses and cutlery, lunch boxes, water bottles, baby bottles, coffee mugs and bottles lined with plastic, food storage containers, and virtually anything made from plastic could be made from polycarbonate.

My recommendation from one mom to another is to avoid as much as possible BPA but if you can not afford to change everthing in your life the main items I would start with are: baby bottles, sippy cups, your childs dishes and bath toys.

If anyone needs ideas on BPA free items ask me I have tones of products I could recomend but that will be for another post.

1- Wikipidia
2- EWG

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