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Born Free Wide Neck Bisphenol-A Free Glass Bottle in 5 or 9 oz.
Editor's Pick: Born Free Wide Neck Glass Bottle. 5 or 9 oz.

How to Buy BPA-Free Baby Bottles

BPA or Bisphenol-A is a hormone-disrupting chemical considered to be potentially harmful to human health and the environment. It has been known that scratched and worn polycarbonate feeding bottles will leach this chemical into liquids. More recently, BPA has been in the news because parents are now discovering that it is contained in many toys, sippy cups, foodware, baby bottles and baby formula. What's a concerned parent to do? How do you know if your baby's bottles and sippy cups are laced with this dangerous and toxic chemical? What are the alternatives? We have the answers to all those questions and more in our BPA-Free Bottle buying guide. So sit back, relax and read on for all the important information you need to not only be a concerned parent but also an informed shopper.

The Basics

Step 1Polycarbonate: The plastic that leaches BPA is usually found in bottles that bear the #7 either on the label or on the actual bottle itself. Avoid products with this number at all costs.
Step 2Safer Plastics: Choose bottles with the letters PETE (polyethylene #1) or PP (polypropylene #5) as a safer alternative. They're free of polycarbonate and typically made of pliable, milky-colored plastic.
Step 3Glass Bottles: Choose glass bottles whenever possible. You reduce your possibility of toxic exposure to zero.
Step 4Old Plastics: Discard old, scratched polycarbonate baby bottles and sippy cups. Plastic that shows signs of wear, such as scratches or a cloudy, cracked appearance - more readily leaches chemicals. Scratches can also harbor bacteria.
Step 5Washing Plastics: Never wash your plastic bottles in a dishwasher or extremely hot water which can also contribute to leaching. Instead, hand wash in lukewarm water.
Step 6Baby Bottle Nipples: Are usually made from silicone or latex. Silicone is lighter in color and safer as latex may leach carcinogenic toxins.

The Lingo

Bisphenol-A (BPA): a chemical that mimics the action of the human hormone, estrogen, can leach from polycarbonate plastic. It is linked to many forms of cancer and hormone imbalances. Found in plastic baby bottles, sippy cups and in the lining of cans.
Polycarbonate Plastic: Bottles made from this material are usually identified with the #7. It is also found in many baby bottles, sippy cups and toys. BPA leaches from this plastic.
Phthalates: Usually found in #7 bottles, these chemicals are in plastics and personal care products like shampoos, soaps, and makeup. Many birth defects have been linked to mothers exposed to phthalates.
PVC: Vinyl or #3 Plastics may release toxic breakdown products (including phthalates) into food and drinks. Found in cooking oil bottles and clear food packaging.
Polyethylene (PET or PETE): Bottles with the # 1 are 100% recyclable and free of polycarbonates. Usually water bottles, juice container and milk containers.
Polypropylene (PP): Bottles and plastic containers with the #5 are free of polycarbonates. Found in Tupperware, Rubbermaid, baby bottles and sipply cups.
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE): Plastics with the #2 are widely recyclable and polycarbonate free.
Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE): Plastics with the #4 are widely recyclable and free of polycarbonates.

The Experts

The Z Report on BPA in Children's Feeding Products says: "By BPA-free, we mean that not only the main body of the item is not made of polycarbonate plastic, but that none of the item's other parts are, either. Some companies provide incomplete information and claim that their bottles or sippys are "made of polypropylene" but cite this fact in a very careful way to obscure the fact that other parts of the equipment are made of polycarbonate."
The National Geographic Green Guide says "Most plastic baby bottles are made with polycarbonate, a rigid durable plastic that has the potential to leach Bisphenol-A into your baby's drinks. Bisphenol-A (BPA) has been linked to a number of health concerns, including hormone disruption and some cancers, and the National Toxicology Program recently concluded that there is "some concern for neural and behavioral effects" in infants and children, given current exposure rates to BPA. Fortunately, preventing exposure is easy if you choose glass or safer plastic (#2, #4 or #5) bottles."

The Brands

BorneFree baby and toddler feeding products are made from a safe honey-colored plastic called PES (Polymer) that is free of Bisphenol-A.
Medela has provided high-quality BPA-free breastfeeding and breastpumping products for mothers and professionals for over 25 years.
Adiri is the only baby bottle truly shaped like a mother's breast. With soft polycarbonate-free and Bisphenol-A free materials and a unique Petal" vent that helps reduce colic.
thinkbaby produces baby and toddler feeding products that are free of Bisphenol-A, lead and Phthalates.

The Price

$: Gerber Clear View Plastic Nurser is durable, dishwasher & sterilizer-safe BPA-free bottles in a variety of designs. With vented nipple design for less air.
$$: Gerber Gentle Flow Bottles offer Sensitive Response nipples with Micro Air Vents which promote an even flow of liquid.
$$$: Thinkbaby Twin Pack Baby Bottles come complete with anti-colic nipples and are specifically formulated to be free of bisphenol-A (BPA) and other toxic chemicals.