OK - right now, think of all of the things in your house that are made of plastic that your child (or future child) has put in their mouth, chewed on, eaten from, etc. Pretty much everything right? (Unless you already know where I'm going with this - then maybe you have lightened your plastic load.)
So, a couple of weeks ago I was online and bored (bad combo) and was researching lead-free toys (a whole other topic!) and came upon information about the debate on bisphenol A and phthalates (yeah - I can't say that either) in plastics - especially in baby bottles. These chemicals are used to soften the plastic - to make it more pliable. I had heard of this debate and was aware, but the more I read, the more it seemed like a good idea to switch to a bottle that was free of these chemicals. One big motivator - scientific studies have shown that these chemicals are leeching from the plastics and causing endocrine problems - one being reproductive problems. Now, I'm a bit sensitive to reproductive problems myself, so I decided to buy these bottles from Green to Grow - and, oh they are SO adorable and they are free of bisphenol A and phthalates.
So far, they are great, except that I'm having problems with suction - I have to keep pulling the bottle out of Micah's mouth to reduce the vacuum/suction from the bottle. I used to use Dr. Brown's and never had that problem. (Any advice from moms out there on that?)
Anyway, today there was an interview on Fresh Air (radio show on NPR) with Mark Schapiro, the author of Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power. The one thing that struck me in this interview (besides much discussion on the scientific studies showing the dangers of these chemicals) is that the EU (European Union) has outlawed the use of phthalates, and China (YES CHINA!) has even banned their use in products that will be available to it's own citizens (but not for exports - meaning - not for the products that will end up on our shelves). But in our own country, we continue to manufacture them and are currently debating whether or not they're dangerous.
I'm one to err on the side of caution, so, now I feel like it is really important to limit Micah's plastic toys and basically I would have to throw away just about every toy we own to do that. So, instead I am letting the Gmas & Gpas know that Micah has asked for Lead-Free toys, as well as toys made from natural substances - such as wood or fabric for Christmas. We'll still have some plastic stuff - just not EVERY toy!
I just thought I'd share this because I found it so shocking. It's really hard to be a parent these days- I used to think - "well, we all turned out fine," but these things didn't exist when we were kids. And, you know, I'm not "fine." We had three years of infertility - that's not "fine." Was it caused by plastics? Well, I was diagnosed with endometriosis - and that has been linked to endocrine problems - levels of estrogen, etc. So, who knows... but, like I said, I'm going to start to limit plastics and we'll see where this debate ends up.
*DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A SCIENTIST OR AN EXPERT! If you are interested in any of the information I've presented, I encourage you to do your own research on the subject. And, I'm not claiming to be an expert, and really don't want to get into a debate about plastics. If you are an expert - you can let me know, but in a nice way please. thanks! :)