26/05/2009 09:51 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

How To Choose A Safe Baby Bottle

At some point last year I was half asleep in front of BBC Breakfast one very early morning watching Dr Whatserface, Bill and Siân looking ever so urgent about a breaking news story. Queen dead, I wondered? But no, it was all about baby bottles and a new report about something "harmful".

There is a silver lining in the cloud of probably not being able to have children (according to the "experts"), I thought. I won't have to learn about all this stuff, I'll never unwittingly harm a child with its own feeding equipment, and I'll never have to concentrate on news reports before 8am.

Scroll forward 12 months or so and – ta dah – I'm pregnant! If you're reading my weekly column on here -- Up The Duff Without A Paddle -- you'll know that already of course. You might want to call this article Up The Duff Without A Clue About Baby Bottle Safety, though. Time to put that right.
In a nutshell, if you're a beginner to this too, to be totally on the safe side, always use bottles which are free of the potentially dangerous chemicals Bisphenol-A (BPA), Phthalates and PVC.

BPA is a known oestrogen mimicker that is used in the production of polycarbonate plastic. According to researchers, BPA may cause developmental and neurological problems if it leaches from plastic, and developing babies are particularly vulnerable. A 2008 US report points to early onset of puberty.

Phthalates are plastic softeners used in many PVC products. They can gather in the body's tissues over time.

In March of this year, six giant US manufacturers declared that they will remove the harmful BPA from all baby bottles, but in a move which angered campaigners here they stopped short of removing the chemicals from bottles produced for the UK. The Food Standards Agency in this country says it considers levels of BPA in baby bottles to be below harmful, but many disagree.

As I say, to be on the safe side I plan to avoid them altogether. If you do use bottles containing these chemicals, guidelines now say don't pour boiling water directly into them, don't microwave them and throw them away once they become scratched or worn.

Here is a very helpful article from the National Childbirth Trust website, and two news articles from the BBC website if you'd like to find out more:

National Childbirth Trust explains Bisphenol-A risk
Baby bottle chemical is removed from US
Baby bottle chemical label call