Baby bottles made of plastic are so unhealthy

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Plastic baby bottles often contain a lot of chemicals: it is better to use baby glass bottles

According to a new study, plastic bottles are used to remove toxic substances from the hot liquid content that the baby absorbs while drinking. Bisphenol-A has been banned in baby bottles since June 2011. Now, other health-endangering substances could be added or those that are not mentioned today. Consumer advocates recommend the use of glass baby bottles.

Toxic substances can be absorbed by the toddler when drinking. The hot liquid baby food that is filled into the bottles can release toxic substances from the plastic and get into the toddlers' bodies. This was the result of a scientific study commissioned by the EU Commission. A total of 449 first-year baby bottles from Europe and North America were examined. The researchers discovered 31 different substances, only a part of which can be found on the positive list of the European Union. The other substances are suspected of being dangerous to the health of infants.

The main component of most baby bottles is polypropylene (PP). Most of the substances were removed from these by the hot liquid. The study was published in the magazine "Food Additives & Contaminants" at the end of February.

It is best not to use plastic bottles for babies. The Swedish authorities reacted promptly after the study results became known. Kettil Svensson, a toxicologist at the Livsmedelsverket food agency, advises parents best to avoid bottles made of polypropylene and silicone for their children, as these contain high levels of so-called phthalates, the plasticizers. Baby bottles made of polycarbonate (PC) or polyethersulfone (PES) can be used. In the United States, bottles are sold under the name "Tritan". These could also be used. To be on the safe side, however, no hot milk should be poured into the bottles, only sufficiently cooled liquid.

"Our advice is not to use plastic bottles at all, but glass or stainless steel bottles," explains Ulrika Dahl from the Naturskyddsföreningen nature conservation association. "Even aluminum ones should not be used, since they can be provided with a plastic film on the inside."

German authorities reacted slowly to bisphenol-A It remains to be seen what consequences the study results will have in Germany. In the case of bisphenol-A, there were sufficient scientific reports long before the chemical was finally banned in baby bottles, which demonstrated a negative effect on the human organism. In many countries, a ban had been enforced much earlier. In Germany, on the other hand, consumer protectionists fought for a long time until a ban on the use of bisphenol-A in baby bottles was finally introduced on March 1, 2011. Lobbyists had repeatedly delayed the ban. Since June 2011, the contaminated bottles are no longer allowed to be sold in German stores. "Parents should bet on glass bottles," according to many consumer advocates. (ag)

Read on:
Ban on bisphenol-A in baby bottles
Lobbyists prevent bisphenol-A ban
Study: Girls getting sexually mature earlier
Hormone-active chemicals threaten health
Federal Environment Agency warns of chemical bisphenol A
Chemical bisphenol-A found on receipts
Bisphenol-A leads to infertility in women
Environmentalists: BPA ban completely inadequate

Image: Ruth Rudolph /

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