Last week, I blogged about my sister Courtney Peterson's dilemma over whether to buy BPA-free baby bottles and sippy cups for her 14-month-old daughter, Kendall. She faced this choice in light of recent news that bisphenol A, a chemical used in hard, clear polycarbonate plastics, may pose health risks. Canada has proposed a ban on BPA, and retailers Toys "R" Us and Wal-Mart indicated that they plan to stop selling BPA-containing baby bottles.
A few days after that blog post appeared, my sister came across BPA-free Evenflo bottles while shopping, so she bought a pack. She also ordered a $14.99 BPA-free sippy cup online—which, she said, is admittedly more than she wanted to pay for a kid's cup.
Courtney is not alone in making BPA-free purchasing decisions, and companies are taking note by increasingly marketing products that don't contain the chemical. The choice isn't limited to parents who need baby bottles and sippy cups. Adults may also be exposed to BPA in water bottles, food storage containers, and even containers for canned food. So, not surprisingly, appliance manufacturers are also getting in on the act of selling products they claim don't contain the controversial chemical. A company called Vita-Mix sells a BPA-free blender for $449.
Below is an assortment of resources for locating and buying BPA-free products.
• Amazon.com's BPA-free section lists water bottles, baby bottles, and sippy cups.
• Nalgene now offers BPA-free water bottles. The company is facing a lawsuit from a California woman who claims Nalgene didn't do enough to warn consumers about the risk of the chemical leaking into the contents of BPA-containing water bottles.
• Brita, which makes water filtration products, says that its pitchers and filters don't contain BPA.
• SC Johnson, which makes Saran brand wraps and Ziploc bags and containers, says that it doesn't use BPA in its products.
• The Children's Health Environmental Coalition offers tips for how to spot plastic household products with and without BPA.
• Consumer Reports describes its BPA test results and provides advice on choosing safe plastics.
• The Z Recommends blog posted an updated guide in February that lists children's feeding products that don't contain BPA.
• BPA-free products have even appeared on eBay.
We'd like to hear from you: Have you made the decision to try to avoid BPA? Please tell us why. And share any useful websites you know of for BPA-free alternatives.
—January W. Payne