Guest Post by Claire
Baby products and children’s toys are frequently made from plastics, as plastic is durable and fairly easy to clean. While it’s great that plastic products can often be thrown into the dishwasher for an easy clean and can withstand quite a beating, the dangerous truth is that some plastic-based children’s products contain dangerous chemicals. Bisphenol A (BPA) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) are both potentially hazardous plastic ingredients, so it’s important to check the products you buy and avoid these chemicals whenever you can.
BPA is frequently found in the lining of food containers such as milk and juice cartons, water bottles, and cans. Any other containers that also contain a number 7 on the bottom will likely include this ingredient as well.
The scary potential health complications that BPA has for infants and children include behavioral and mental complications as well as an increased risk of developing serious issues later in life. Some governments have banned the sales of BPA-containing baby bottles or bottle liners, although this is not a common practice for all places, so parents should be prepared to check for this ingredient before they purchase something for their kids.
PVC is a type of vinyl plastic used in billions of pounds of products every year in the United States. This dangerous substance is unstable on its own, so other ingredients must be added to it to balance the mixture. Often times, the stabilizers include lead which can increase the dangers of PVC-containing items. Known risks associated with PVC exposure include blood pressure complications, bone loss, and possible developmental defects.
Living BPA and PVC Free
Although the risks from these chemicals are relatively low, many people take a “better safe than sorry” approach to buying things for their children. As such, it may be helpful to know how to avoid these substances in your own household. To lower the chances of exposure to BPA and PVC in children’s products, you may want to look for the following types of products and brands:
- Glass baby bottles
- Born Free brand BPA-free baby bottles
- Klean Kanteen sippy cup / bottle
- Thermos Foogo stainless steel sippy cups
- Skip*Hop food mat and plate
Finding safe baby products is not impossible. Knowing what to look for in potentially dangerous plastic products is the easiest way to eliminate risky toys, bottles, and food containers from your child’s life.
Avoiding BPA and PVC
In addition to buying products that do not contain BPA and PVC, you may want to go through some of your existing household products and get rid of the ones that likely contain these dangerous materials. Some of the most common household items that contain BPA and PVC include:
- Plastic baby bottles and sippy cups
- Re-usable water bottles made from #7 plastic
- Food storage containers
- Can linings
- Formula containers
Because these products come into direct contact with food and drink, it may be worth it to remove them from your house. While many more household products may contain PVC and BPA, like water coolers, CDs, and DVDs, those that do not directly come into contact with food or drink pose much less of a risk.
Claire Wilkerson is a part time blogger and mother of two. She and her family work to live a natural lifestyle and hope to keep other families aware of possible product liability issues that could result from dangerous or poorly-made children’s products.