Bisphenol A (BPA) and Phthalates in Products
Both BPA and phthalates are endocrine disrupters, products that mimic natural hormones and can affect reproductive development and health.
BPA is linked to early puberty in girls and phthalates are linked to low testosterone and to male reproductive problems. BPA and phthalates are additives in plastics. BPA creates a rigid plastic and phthalates make plastic more flexible.
Three types of phthalates have been banned in toys for young children, they are still used to soften vinyl plastics (raincoats, backpacks, shower curtains, blow-up toys) and preserve scents (soaps, lotions, and perfumes).
Even though major manufacturers are no longer making baby bottles and children’s drinking cups with BPA, it can still be found in the lining of food and beverage cans, in bottled formula, and even on shopping receipts.
How to Avoid and Reduce BPA Exposure
Do not microwave food in plastic containers because they can release BPA and other harmful or unstudied additives into food.
Avoid buying canned food or food storage containers unless they are marked “BPA-free.”
Look for children’s raincoats and backpacks that are marked “PVC-free.”
Avoid personal care products for children with “fragrance” listed in the ingredients, which may indicate presence of phthalates.