Thursday, February 7, 2008

Safe Baby Bottles?

Have you heard all the buzz about avoiding certain plastic baby bottles? It kind of goes along with the "Chemicals in Baby Products" post from earlier this week. Some environmentalists say bisphenol A and phthalates found in many plastic baby bottles can be harmful to our babies. They say the chemicals are released when the bottles are heated.

I saw this story on USA Today that actually tells us which bottles some moms consider safer. The BornFree baby bottle is the one getting the most attention.

Here's the part of the article I found interesting:

It's(BornFree) made from a plastic five times as expensive as the one routinely used for baby bottles. It has to be shipped all the way from Israel. And its retail price — $9.50 — is about triple that of a conventional bottle.

It's also a big seller in stores catering to parents who want the safest possible environment for their babies, stores where items labeled "bisphenol A-free" and "phthalate-free" line up next to the cloth diapers and breast pumps.

Here's a list of the bottles I compiled from USA Today:

  • BornFree baby bottle contains no chemicals.
  • Adiri Natural Nurser contains no chemicals.

  • Medela bottles have always been bisphenol A-free.

  • Evenflo has marketed a glass baby bottle since the era when all baby bottles were glass, but its plastic bottles contain the chemical.

  • Gerber sells several bisphenol A-free bottles, including its Clear View, Fashion Tints and Gentle Flow lines.

  • Playtex Nurser System disposable liners also do not contain the chemical.
Small companies focusing on baby bottles without bisphenol A are doing a brisk business. BornFree went on sale in the USA last year, and the Adiri Natural Nurser made its debut this summer. Adiri can "barely keep up with demand" and ran out of its smallest bottles just after their launch in August, says Sarah Eisner, vice president of sales and marketing. "We don't want to say all other bottles are evil. You have this brand-new life, so why not start out with materials you know aren't harmful?"

The chemical industry has responded quickly to the threat to its market share. The American Chemistry Council, through a complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau, forced BornFree to change its marketing this year. The company used to pitch its bottles as a safer alternative but was ordered in February not to claim its products were more child- or eco-friendly.

There is an entire website dedicated to telling us bisphenal A is harmless.

Here's a glimpse of what it says:

"For decades, polycarbonate plastic has been safely used to make baby bottles and reusable water bottles. The safety of these products has been supported by numerous science-based safety evaluations of bisphenol A that have been conducted by independent government and scientific bodies worldwide.

For example, recent evaluations by the European Food Safety Authority and NSF International both provide strong support for the safety of polycarbonate bottles. In spite of this strong scientific support, numerous myths, misinformation and scare stories about polycarbonate bottles continue to circulate. Several new studies have carefully examined these myths and provide additional strong support for the safe use of polycarbonate bottles."

I use the Medela bottles, mainly because I'm still nursing and those fit on the breast pump. Convenience is key in my household!

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


Maria said...

I used the adiri natural nurser and pumped in to medela bottles with a medela pump.

Personally, I think there are too many plastic items used and try to avoid them period. I chose the bottle because I prefer to minimize exposure to the chemicals in plastics and use a precautionary principle. I also had a hard time getting my son to take any bottle after nine months of less than 1 bottle per week. Something about him being a boob-addict... Anyway, why take the chance?

BTW-- for every "pro BPA" website, you can find at least one "anti" site.

I'd love to expand more, but I am exhausted. I do read a blog called zrecs, and they did an extensive list of which bottles and sippy cups are BPA free.

Maria said...


Anonymous said...

I just purchased glass bottles this weekend. It is so sad that we have to raise our children in a world with all this chemical issues, we all want what is best for our babies, and keep them safe.
Here is a good link to what bottles are safe.

Anonymous said...

"Born Free" ignores customers who complain about their defective glass bottle products...

I’ve bought a dozen of their bottles and the text and lines have completely faded in the dishwasher. Since I have 12 it took about three months since we don’t have to constantly wash the same bottle. I also have a couple of their plastic bottles and those do not fade. Mind you they explicitly state the bottles are dishwasher proof.

In other respect the bottles perform mostly ok but sometimes the vent system seems to be clogged. If you dry the silicone part before putting the bottle together you usually will not encounter this issue though.

What I find troubling about this company is that their customer service for their webstore is very bad: they just ignore you. I’ve emailed them directly and via their site about the fading text and lines and only after repeated attempts I got one reply stating that they would get in touch but that it was very busy time for them. One month later still no reply, let alone a resolution of the issue.

Apparently they're busy due to the controversy about plastic bottles that contain BPA. Fair enough but a successful company should *never* too busy when customers complain about defective products, there is simply no excuse.

So be warned, this company might look nice and friendly but in the end when there are issues with their goods and you try to get things solved you’ll just be ignored. I guess the company is not mature enough to take customer service and after sales seriously.

Ironically on their contact webpage their tag-line is:
“Try us out. You will not be disappointed.”

Well I did and I am completely disappointed. I would think replying on emails, especially when your customers have legitimate complaints is the bare minimum you should do. Clearly they have no problem offending honest people who spend on their products.

Maybe when buying their stuff in a brick-and-mortar store you can at least address issues with the store but when buying online you are basically facing an anonymous non-responsive company.

I've bought goods with them worth about 500$ (I thought I was saving money on transport by buying everything in one go). I buy a lot of stuff online but I think twice next time when faced with an infant overseas company (I live in Europe) without a sterling reputation.

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