How to Protect Your Family from BPA
(Bisphenol A)

 

What is BPA and where is it found?
How does BPA get into our bodies?
How can families avoid BPA?
How to Protect Your Baby from BPA
Why should I breastfeed or consider powdered formula?
Use Caution
How do I avoid water bottles or baby bottles with BPA?
For More Information

 

What is BPA and where is it found?

BPA (Bisphenol A) is a chemical in a kind of plastic called polycarbonate. BPA is also in the linings of almost all cans of food and drinks, including cans of liquid infant formula.

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Why are we concerned about BPA?

Low levels of BPA may be harmful to unborn babies, infants and children. Possible health effects include:

  • Changes in the developing brain
  • Changes in behavioral development, such as hyperactivity and aggression

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How does BPA get into our bodies?

BPA gets in our bodies when we eat or drink food or liquids from bottles or cans that contain BPA. For example, a small amount of BPA can pass from a can or a jar top used for liquid formula or other food.

BPA can also pass into an infant's formula or milk from certain types of plastic baby bottles.

During pregnancy BPA can reach the baby if the mother consumes BPA that has passed from a can or plastic container.

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How can families avoid BPA?

  • Breastfeed your baby.
  • Make your own baby food.
  • Eat fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables instead of canned products.
  • Do not use polycarbonate plastic containers.

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How to Protect Your Baby from BPA

  • Avoid BPA while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeed or use powdered formula.
  • Use bottles that do not have BPA in them.

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Why should I breastfeed or consider powdered formula?

Breastfeeding is best for the health of you and your baby. If you are not able to breastfeed, use powdered formula as it contains less BPA.

If your baby needs a special formula for medical reasons, do not make any changes without talking to your doctor first. (Your doctor's approval is required if you wish to use WIC benefits to buy formula.)

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Use Caution:

These are items that typically contain BPA:

  • Baby bottle
  • Water bottle
  • Inside of jar lid
  • Aluminum can

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How do I avoid water bottles or baby bottles with BPA?

Look for a code on the bottom of bottles you use or are thinking about buying.

If you see a # 7 recycling symbol, and the letters PC, the bottle contains BPA. Not all # 7 plastics contain BPA, but if the bottle is hard plastic and has a tinted color or is clear it could contain BPA.

If your infant drinks from a bottle, be sure to check that it is BPA-free. If you are not sure whether the bottle has BPA in it then it is best to replace it.

Glass or stainless steel bottles do not have BPA in them.

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For More Information

Call the Environmental and Occupational Health Program: (207) 287-4311 or 1-866-292-3474 (toll-free in Maine).

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