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Health & Baby

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Glass vs. Plastic Baby Bottles

Decades ago, the only baby bottles available to parents were made of glass. But glass was heavy and breakable. So when plastic bottles came along that were lighter and shatter-proof, the glass bottle became almost obsolete.

However, recent reports that a type of plastic found in baby bottles might cause potentially harmful changes in developing babies has left parents wondering if perhaps old-fashioned glass wasn't such a bad thing after all.

Which is safer, glass or plastic? Here is some background on baby bottles, along with tips on how to choose -- and use -- bottles safely and effectively.

Baby Bottle Worries

The problem with glass bottles is pretty obvious -- drop one on the floor in the middle of a late-night feeding, and you'll have a roomful of shattered glass to clean up. Glass is also heavy and cumbersome. On the upside, glass bottles are sturdy, and they don't contain any chemicals that could potentially get into the baby's formula.

Plastic baby bottles are lightweight, strong, and unbreakable. In 2012, the FDA banned the use of bisphenol A in the manufacture of baby bottles and sippy cups. There were concerns that the chemical in polycarbonate plastic could lead to certain cancers, changes in the brain and reproductive system, and early puberty. All baby bottles and sippy cups sold in the USA are now BPA-free.

In 2013, the FDA supported a food additive amendment to end the use of bisphenol A-based epoxy resins in the lining of formula cans. Manufacturers had abandoned the use of BPA in those products, so the move was largely supportive.

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