Who do you believe when one arm of the government says everything is fine -- but another tells you to watch out? That is what is happening with bisphenol-A, a chemical used in many plastics and epoxy resins now found in baby bottles and liners for canned goods. The answer is a simple: when in doubt, especially when it comes to children, err on the side of caution. That means it is a good idea to keep your children away from bisphenol-A, or BPA.
The FDA said in August that the small amounts of BPA that leach out of containers and into food or milk are not dangerous. But in September, the National Toxicology Program, the federal agency for toxicological research, reported that there were potential concerns about the effects of BPA on the brain development and behavior of fetuses and young children.
A newer study by the Yale School of Medicine found that BPA “causes the loss of connections between brain cells” that could cause memory or learning problems and depression.
Concerned scientists offer the following advice:
- Watch for the numeral 7 on the bottom of plastic containers. That often means they contain BPA
- Don’t microwave plastic food containers made with BPA. Better to use glass or porcelain
- Watch out for canned foods for children
- Search for baby bottles and other baby products that are BPA-free