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From my understanding, BPA-Free plastic water bottle is safe for my little ones. However, some manufacturer does not provide any information on their water bottles but I would like to buy one because they have very cute cartoon design which my little ones love them.

So, are there any other methods that I can test the water bottle so that I know that they are safe for my little ones? (I heard that as long as you put hot water to the water bottle and the water bottle does not change shape or dis-colored, it is deem safe but would like to hear suggestions from experts out there. Thanks.)

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What you heard is wrong. There are many rigid plastics which will not discolor or soften when heated which do still contain BPA. –  cabbey Jan 18 '12 at 15:32
    
So, are there any method that we parent can perform on the plastic water bottle to ensure that they are safe? (I heard stories that some merchants will stick "BPA free" stickers on their products even their products are not "BPA free". So, would like to know if there are any methods for parents like us which we can perform on the water bottle to ensure that it is BPA-free.) –  Jack Jan 19 '12 at 1:09

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

US Department of Health and Safety has some information:

http://www.hhs.gov/safety/bpa/

To reduce the potential transfer of BPA to the foodstuffs:

  • avoid containers not labeled 'bpa-free' (ideal)

Of if you don't know:

  • avoid hot foods/liquids in containers
  • avoid scratched containers

In general, if safety is a concern, I'd let federal agency/mandatory safety labeling trump printed cartoon graphics.

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I heard stories that some merchants will stick "BPA free" stickers on their products even their products are not "BPA free". So, would like to know if there are any methods for parents like us which we can perform on the water bottle to ensure that it is BPA-free. –  Jack Jan 19 '12 at 1:10
    
Where do you live? In many countries, there'd be laws regarding that. I'd be sure to go with name brands and avoid the dollar-store offerings. –  DA01 Jan 19 '12 at 1:47
    
oh...and no DIY method short of taking it to a lab for analysis. –  DA01 Jan 19 '12 at 1:48
    
Taking to lab for analysis will be quite costly. (I dun have extra $ to spend cause most are invested in my little ones.) However, would be looking for solution that can DIY test the plastic water bottle. –  Jack Jan 19 '12 at 2:34
    
There is no DIY way. –  DA01 Jan 19 '12 at 3:03

It is important to remember that BPA has been used in everyday plastics, including baby bottles, for decades and absolutely no ill effects in humans have been linked to everyday BPA exposure. The concern with BPA is purely hypothetical, so BPA is avoided in food packaging today out of an overabundance of caution.

There are more important things to worry about: Are your kids getting their immunizations? Has the child safety seat you are using (if you use one) had any recalls? Are your kids brushing their teeth often enough? These are all things that pose a far greater danger to your children's wellbeing than BPA.

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While true, 'purely hypothetical', while accurate, may be downplaying it a bit. We do know it causes issues in various animal's systems. Still, valid points...there are typically bigger issues to worry about. –  DA01 Jan 18 '12 at 23:00
    
Wait a minute, Dan, may I interpret from your answer that BPA products are safe for my little ones? Nowadays, it is so hard to be a parent cause some said BPA is dangerous while some said BPA is safe. All I know is that I don't want to endanger my little ones with things that can cause them cancer or illness. –  Jack Jan 19 '12 at 1:14
    
@Jack: The general way that "safety" is worked out, is a) what negative side effects have been seen in a lab where they often boost the dose until they get an effect, and b) what negative side effects have been seen among actual kids. For example, paracetamol is seen to be safe during pregnancy because mothers used it for years before anyone thought to check if it was safe, which meant they could just look at the current crop of kids and go "well, they seem fine". With something like thalidomide, same principle, tragically different outcome. –  deworde Jan 19 '12 at 10:50
    
@Jack: With BPA, they've proven that if they give a large enough dose to lab animals it's dangerous, and that's where the concerns come from. Counter to that, it's been used in plastics for years, and there's not been a conclusive study on what effect that's had on kids. Counter to that, the concerns were only raised recently, and conclusive studies take time. –  deworde Jan 19 '12 at 10:56
    
I'd like to add in an answer I gave on the Skeptics site: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/2202/… There are published studies which are raising more concerns about the presence of BPA (and phthalates) in bottles, etc. -1 for not bothering to reference the claim that 'the concern with BPA is purely hypothetical' when, in fact there ARE concerns - especially for children (ie early onset of puberty, etc) –  Darwy Jan 21 '12 at 9:40

One thing you could do is contact the Food & Drug Administration for your country and ask them about this product.

If it's unsafe for children, that could be a major issue, which they'd need to investigate.

If it's safe, they'll let you know.

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I'd like an explanation of the downvote... –  deworde Jan 21 '12 at 21:48

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