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A Toxics-Free Future

Toxic Chemical BPA leaching into baby foods from baby feeding bottles and sippy cups, says a Toxic Link study

READ THE REPORT

In spite of the prohibition on the use of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in baby feeding bottles, the toxic chemical continues to be found in some baby products sold in the Indian market. BPA is an endocrine disrupting chemical that has been accepted as the chemical of concern globally. It is a toxic chemical known to mimic a hormone in the body which activates the progression of cancer and interferes with the development of the reproductive system. In children epidemiological studies there are correlations between BPA exposure and heart diseases, liver toxicity and metabolic syndrome (diabetes obesity).

A study titled ‘BOTTLES CAN BE TOXIC - Part II’ released today by environmental policy and advocacy organization, Toxics Link observed various levels of BPA in baby feeding bottles and sippy cups in samples collected from different parts of the country. This research report points at the failure in compliance of standards by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) set in IS 14625:2015 for plastic feeding bottles and accessories.

In the present research study, a set of twenty samples of baby feeding bottles and sippy cups (i.e.14 baby feeding bottles and 6 sippy cups) of some well known and local brands were collected from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Manipur, Delhi and sent to The Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati for analysis. During the study BPA migration or leaching was observed from the container to the food. From the results it was observed that all twenty samples showed release of BPA between 0.9 ppb and 10.5 ppb in its first extraction and 0.008 ppb and 3.46 ppb in second extraction from the same containers (except one baby feeding bottle sample that did not detect release of BPA in its second extraction). The study clearly establishes presence of BPA in feeding bottles and its migration into food contained in these.

“Toxics Link undertook the first study in India on the presence of BPA in baby feeding bottles in 2014 and found it in the analyzed samples. Subsequently Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) prohibited the use of BPA in plastic feeding bottles and accessories in 2015. But it is shocking to still find presence of this chemical despite the prohibition of BPA containing material in baby feeding bottles and sippy cups, said Satish Sinha, Associate Director at Toxics Link.

Dr Prashant Rajankar, Programme Coordinator at Toxics Link states that “The polycarbonate based baby feeding bottles are still available in the Indian market even though they are prohibited since 2015 as per BIS. Hence it needs stricter monitoring.” 

Presence of toxics chemicals in baby feeding bottles is a matter of serious concern and requires very stringent monitoring for adherence to standards and ensuring consumer confidence and trust.

Key findings 

  • All analyzed samples showed BPA release in its extraction experiments. 
  • Only one sample of baby feeding bottles showed no level of Bisphenol A released during second extraction
  • There may be chance of having more total BPA in the containers
  • Raises questions on why does polypropylene have BPA

Recommendations

  • Suitable mechanism to monitor the products periodically
  • Proper action to phase out BPA from other children products like sippy cups
  • Awareness among consumers so that they can make an informed choice
  • Strict penal provisions for violation of standards
  • Precautionary measures by industries to prevent the leaching of BPA in the supply chain