Are you confused about the dangers of some plastic products—especially when it comes to your kids? Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg, RealAge's children's health expert, shares how she keeps her own family safe.
Are plastics leaching toxic chemicals into my children's food?
They could be. But the real question is how dangerous the typical daily exposure to these chemicals is for babies and children—and for adults. One of the main controversies concerns a chemical called bisphenol-A, or BPA, which is used in many plastic bottles, aluminum can linings and plastic food containers.
Read more about the BPA controversy.
We've known for years that trace amounts of BPA leach into food and that most people have tiny amounts of BPA in their blood and urine. But the Food and Drug Administration has maintained that the typical daily exposure to BPA is probably too low to be dangerous to humans.
In 2008, BPA really started getting more scrutiny and more media attention. Canada banned the use of BPA in all baby bottles, saying that babies, because of their small size, could be at greater risk from even low levels of the chemical. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that adults with high levels of BPA in their urine had a high risk of diabetes, heart disease and liver disease. Given these findings, we'll definitely be hearing more about BPA.
Does BPA affect fertility rates? Read O magazine's investigation.
Personally, I try to minimize my family's exposure to plastic food containers in general, and I recommend the same to my patients' parents. When it comes to a developing fetus, infant, baby or toddler, reducing exposure to plastics may be especially important, as even minuscule amounts of BPA theoretically could affect their health because their body mass is so low.
Read the 7 steps Dr. Jen recommends