How to Avoid BPA Leeching Plastics and Containers

Filed Under Articles, Bisphenol-A 

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As we all may have already read, some plastics, mostly polycarbonate plastics can leech harmful chemicals into foods and liquids. This of course is a serious concern, especially for young developing children. There is a plethora of links to great information over in the sidebar, but I ran across a good “cheat sheet” on the Environmental California website to use as a guide for checking out your own inventory of household plastic and what to keep in mind when out shopping. Notes:

  • Avoid polycarbonate plastic in food containers. Check the bottom/underside of the product. If you see “PC” (usually in or near the recycling triangle) signifying polycarbonate plastic, do not purchase it. Often a number “7” on the bottom in the recycling triangle, by itself, also means the material is polycarbonate, but not always. To be safe, avoid #7 plastic. Choose plastics labeled #1, #2, or #5 in the recycling triangle, but do not heat beverages or food in plastic containers of any kind.
  • Avoid PVC plastic in food containers. Check the bottom/underside of the product. If you find the number “3” in the recycling triangle, it is made from PVC plastic and should be avoided. Choose plastics labeled #1, #2, or #5 in the recycling triangle, but do not heat beverages or food in plastic containers of any kind.
  • Avoid canned foods: Unfortunately, bisphenol A can leach from metal can lining into the foods and liquids contained within. Buy baby food in glass containers, and avoid feeding your child food from cans as much as possible. You can often find popular children’s foods, such as tomato sauce, applesauce, and black beans, in glass jars.
  • Choose safer containers for sippy cups and water bottles. Look for plastics labeled #1, #2, or #5 in the recycling triangle. As an alternative to hard plastic water bottles (such as the polycarbonate Nalgene bottles), try a lightweight stainless steel bottle instead.

Read the full list here.

Source: Environmental California

Posted by: SafeMama Kathy on November 16, 2007


7 Responses to “How to Avoid BPA Leeching Plastics and Containers”

  1. Statia on November 16th, 2007 8:25 pm

    FYI, those Gerber Graduate containers that contain meals you can heat them right in are #7’s. As well as any Campbell’s soups in the same types of containers. While it’s probably convenient to heat them in there, it’s probably not a good idea.

  2. Paola on December 22nd, 2007 1:17 pm

    Gerber organics are (for what i checked at the store) storage in a container with a number 7 in the bottom. If they care for the origin of the product why would they put it in a container that may leak BPA in to the food… I wish this message can go everywhere and make Gerber change thiw once and for all

  3. Kathy on December 24th, 2007 2:32 pm

    I thought and felt the exact same way when I discovered the gerber organics food I’d been giving my son was stored in #7 plastic. I recently was talking with the researcher who did the report about BPA in baby formula with the EWG and asked her about gerbers #7 food plastics.

    Basically, the “bad” plastics or the plastics containing bpa or pvc are marked with a 3 or 6 so avoid those. 7 is used as a “catch all” number used when the material is made of more than one kind of plastic. They advise you to avoid it since there is no way of knowing WHAT plastics are used and can sometimes contain 3 and 6 plastics. The only way to find out is to call the company and ask. The researcher did just that because apparently we aren’t the only ones. The gerber baby food containers are made with #1 and #2 plastics combined and since its more than one they mark with a 7. So essentially, they are bpa and pvc free. So rest a little easier.

    Something else to consider, many times bpa is used in the plastic sealant on the LIDS of glass jars and containers so switching doesn’t protect you from using totally bpa free products.

  4. Melissa Moog on February 3rd, 2008 6:19 pm

    This post is extremely helpful and I’ll pass this on to my community of mamas! Thanks for sharing!

  5. megan on April 17th, 2008 5:21 pm

    I have been using natures goodness product.. it all comes in glass and is much cheaper as well. i was using gerber and i returned them.

  6. Krystal on April 22nd, 2008 2:48 pm

    I have a question, if anyone can help. A few of you have said that #7 is a catch all and maynot contain BPA, all of my daughters bottles are #7 (gerber ortho NUK bottles, w/ wide neck openings) What I’m wondering is are these bottles safe or not? I cant seem to find the answer anywhere its not on the ‘not safe’ lists I’ve found, but neither is it on the ‘safe lists’.

  7. Jen on April 23rd, 2008 12:56 am

    I was wondering about a couple of things…
    Yo Baby Organic Baby Yogurt is packaged in #7 plastic. Has anyone heard if it is safe or not? Also, I am wondering if beauty products/shampoos etc. are included in this BPA/PVC danger or is it just injestion of food products in these containers?