Bisphenol A in Nursing Bottles

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Which Plastics are "Microwave-Safe"?

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Do not use plastics which you have not identified, or which are not identified as "microwave-safe".
This sub-page relates to bisphenol A in baby nursing bottles.

Bisphenol A

This plasticizer is leached out by heating in microwave ovens. This issue and the related issue of

Bisphenol A in Baby Nursing Bottles

Approximately 95% of nursing bottles in the US are polycarbonate, most of which are made with bisphenol A.[1] )
A bottle called "BFree"(TM) is free of bisphenol A; available in Europe and Israel. Unfortunately, either the company will not permit BFree bottles to be distributed in North America, or has limited distribution. BFree bottles are apparently only available in the US via grey market (unauthorised distribution) sources. BFree bottles are often described as "formerly Dr. Brown", but Dr. Brown sells ordinary polycarbonate bottles in North America, which apparently use bisphenol A. (The BFree bottles I saw also appeared to be polycarbonate, which suggests it's possible to make polycarbonate without bisphenol A.)

Microwavable Containers

Be careful with containers promoted as "microwavable".
For example, Tupperware promotes some, but not all of their containers as microwavable. Their website describes, "Tupperware offers a wide selection of microwave safe plastics". More interesting, "Container is microwave safe (remove seals)". As nearly as I can determine, the lid is the seal! (I presume these lids are clearly marked "not microwave safe" in order to avoid this sort of error. The Tupperware website did not indicate the plastics used for either the containers or the "seals".) Obviously, if you use these things, you should find some sort of microwave-safe lid.

My Approach

I hadn't figured out which, if any, plastics are safe for cooking. I just use ceramic or glass, and cover it with a glass cover or another dish.

Where's the Harm?

(more information and references)
General Information on Plastics and Xenoestrogens:
List of Carcinogenic Substances from

The 4th item mentions organochlorines, referencing the tech article below.

Breast Cancer Fund

University of Cincinatti Academic Health Center article

Technical References:

Joachim Payne, Martin Scholze, and Andreas Kortenkamp "Mixtures of Four Organochlorines Enhance Human Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation", Environmental Health Perspectives, v.109, no.4 (Apr.2004)
This is definitely technical reading, but the implications are fairly clear.

Sorting Plastics Information

If an article purports to address chemical food safety, consider whether it only discusses non-issues (e.g., dioxins). If it fails to address meaningful issues, that should tell you something.

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[1]^     The "95%" figure was from 2006. It is likely that there is presently wider availability of non-BPA bottles, and (due to cost of manufacture of polycarbonate without BPA), fewer than 95% polycarbonate nursing bottles on the market today.

Courtesy of Stan Protigal

Comments about this site: email me

first posted 4-Nov-06; rev 18-Feb-07 This page copyright 2002, Stan Protigal