What is Bisphenol A (BPA)?
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. These products have been widely used in making infant feeding bottles, the lining of food cans and dental sealants. A potential problem is the fact that BPA can cause damage to animals and probably humans during critical stages of their development by interfering with healthy growth and body function. It can do this by mimicking the effect of the hormone oestrogen in the body without replacing the important activity of the hormone.
Babies are particularly vulnerable to hormone mimicking effects because they do not have the ability to process the chemical, partly because they are dependent on one food source and partly because they are growing so fast. NCT has campaigned for the removal of BPA from products for babies as a precaution because we believe that industry should use the safest products available for infants, particularly infants under three. The industry is voluntarily withdrawing baby bottles from the market that contain BPA and replacing them with safer products ahead of a European ban on BPA in baby products.
In general, plastics that are marked with recycle codes 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 are very unlikely to contain BPA. Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA. BPA has been shown to leach out of older polycarbonate feeding bottles when they are filled with hot liquids and repeated washing, which creates scratches, increases the rate of BPA leaching from the plastic.