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The ABC's of BPA and Infant Formula

By Sandra Gordon

Chemical Caution

Now that the "green" movement has taken hold, you’re probably more aware than ever of your “body burden,” the level of environmental chemical exposure that can occur from everyday activities like sleeping, breathing and eating.

As a new or expecting parent, bisphenol A (BPA) is one chemical that’s probably on your radar. Used to make polycarbonate, a clear and rigid plastic, BPA is also used as a protective lining in food and beverage cans, including some types and brands of infant formula. The good news? Store Brand Infant Formula packaging doesn’t contain BPA.

Health concerns about BPA relate to its ability to mimic the hormone estrogen. During such “endocrine disruption,” chemicals can interfere with or mimic the action of hormones in ways that upset normal development. Hundreds of studies published over the past decade suggest a connection between exposure to BPA at levels typical in the United States and increased rates of breast and prostate cancer, reproductive abnormalities, and—for infants exposed in the womb—problems later on such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obesity, and diabetes. Fortunately, most plastic baby bottles sold in this country are BPA-free. If you’re concerned, use glass baby bottles; they’re making a huge comeback among national brands. When your baby graduates to a sippy cup, you should look for BPA-free plastic such as polyethylene, an opaque, less shiny plastic that doesn’t leach BPA. It’s sometimes marked with recycling code 1 and/or the abbreviation PET. Other plastics not made with BPA are high density polyethylene (2, HDPE) and polypropylene (5, PP). To keep your own exposure level down, avoid the canned version of foods and beverages, including soda and beer.

BPA-Free Baby Formula Packaging

Not only are Store Brand Infant Formula packages BPA-free, they’ve recently been redesigned to make your formula-feeding experience easier and more convenient. The new parent-friendly package may look different, but it offers the same trusted formula on the inside. Here’s a snapshot of the new features you’ll find on Store Brand Infant Formula’s “SmarTub™” packages:

Top notch: You’ll notice the difference right when you open the new package. Using new CleanPull™ technology, the easy-open zip top allows you to remove the package’s protective foil layer in one pull, tearing away cleanly.

The scoop on the scoop: The scoop handle is extra long for more hygienic scooping. No matter how far you dip into the tub, your hands will never touch the formula, which means powder-free hands for you and a more hygienic experience for your baby. In the corner of the tub, you’ll find the AccuMeasure™ scoop leveler for more accurate feedings. Just fill the scoop to the brim and level it off by gliding it under the tub’s corner tab. You’ll measure the right amount every time. When you’re done with the scoop, store it in the lid by tucking the end of the scoop’s handle into the built-in SimpleSlide™ scoop storage holder, which is on the top of the AccuMeasure scoop leveler. Just think--no more digging for the scoop!

The SmarTub’s design marks industry firsts, including the only 100 percent leak detection system Perrigo is aware of engineered into the manufacturing to preserve quality and freshness. Bonus: It’s designed to stack easier should you decide to stock up and buy more than one tub at a time. Overall, you can feel good about Store Brand Infant Formula. For years they’ve had a trusted formula on the inside that’s been fed to millions of babies; now Store Brand Formula is offered in a new mom-friendly package that is the result of a $29 million investment.

About the Author

Sandra Gordon

Sandra Gordon is a consumer products expert, a writer, and a mother of two. She has appeared on NBC's Today Show and as a baby safety expert on The Discovery Health Channel's "Make Room for Baby." A Consumer Reports author, her latest book is Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear.

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