Kick the can: Baby formula contains dangerous chemical

While the benefits of breast milk over baby formula are old news, some important new research indicates that additional dangers may lurk in every can of baby formula on the market.

In a recent report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a consumer health advocacy group, tests performed on liquid baby formulas found that they all contained bisphenol A (BPA). This leaching, hormone-mimicking chemical is used by all major baby formula manufacturers in the linings of the metal cans in which baby formula is sold.

BPA has been found to cause hyperactivity, reproductive abnormalities and pediatric brain cancer in lab animals. Increasingly, scientists suspect that BPA might be linked to several medical problems in humans, including breast and testicular cancer.

Because of smaller can sizes and because liquid formula is less diluted with water, the study concluded that liquid formulas have as much as 20 times higher potential to leach BPA than their powdered counterparts.

Because the FDA has not banned BPA, it appears there are no immediate plans to change the packaging of liquid baby formula.

I know how intimidating breastfeeding can be. Panic-stricken and afraid my screaming firstborn was starving when we first brought her home from the hospital, my husband filled a bottle with the baby formula that had unexpectedly arrived in our mailbox weeks before. It took the next six weeks or so for me to regain confidence that nursing my baby would be sufficient. But I did and was able to nurse her for two years. Breast is still best; seek help from a lactation consultant if you are having a hard time making it work for you and your baby.

If you choose to or must feed your infant formula, reduce your infantís BPA exposure by using powdered formula.

To further minimize the leaching of BPA into formula or breast milk, use glass baby bottles, instead of hard plastic ones marked with the number 7 or the letters PC.

Warm bottles in a bowl of hot water. Microwaving or boiling bottles on the stove can weather bottles, increasing chemical leaching into the formula.

Terri Hall-Jackson lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and two young children. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.

By Terri-Hall Jackson, contributing writer to Care2ís Green Living


Jasmine Diwakar
Omahum S7 years ago

This is absolutely beyond tolerance.

Jfm Jaworowski
Joanne J7 years ago

All tin cans are lined with BPA - we are ALL exposed to this hormone disruptor every day. Tomato products leech the BPA at higher rates than other foods, but NONE of the other tinned foods are safe from contamination. BPA is everywhere, sometimes in minute amounts, but it all adds up every day. Some cash register receipts are coated with BPA, takeout pizza boxes are coated with it, it is used in the manufacture of recycled paper, just to name a few hidden sources. The only way to keep ourselves safe from BPA contamination is to have the federal government ban its use. Each manufacturer that uses BPA will tell you that it's product uses BPA at "acceptable" levels. Casual contact with it throughout daily life quickly makes those levels unacceptable. I read "Slow Death by Rubber Duck" (by Smith & Lourie) a few months ago; its a great place to find out more info on the toxins we are exposed to regularly - and what to do about it!

Latifa Ben
Latifa Ben8 years ago

My little one just turn 1yr. I tried giving him cow's milk but he refuses it. He's very healthy and he loves my milk. I'm thinking to continu breastfeeding him till his 2nd yr of age. My advice to all moms pls breasfeed ur little angels and if u don't have enough milk just be patient and do not to offer formula. Instead eat healthy diet and offer ur breastmilk. And by my experience also as a mom of twins after labor I didn't hav enough milk for even one, but believe me the more u offer ur breast the more u get more milk. Thnx u all& hop this information 'll help.

Becky K.
Becky K8 years ago

I don't understand why people think they have to stop breastfeeding their child only to give them cow's milk. Children do not need milk from a cow. (That's gross and unhealthy--linked to gut problems, allergies, autism, and harsh proteins that cause stomach bleeding--anemia, etc.). They need milk from their MOM. I just weaned my 5.5 year old and he does not need milk from anything else ever again. He is so healthy, happy and gifted!

Mary Golde
jenn murphy8 years ago

I'm so glad I'm breastfeeding.. Artifical Food should be banned.. I'm willing to donate my milk to those who need it so that there is no need for "formula"

Jennifer R.
Jennifer R8 years ago

Don't feed a three month old anything but breast milk! Soymilk, raisins, are not healthy for infants. You need to find a new doctor.Your breast milk provides everything he needs, and in fact the estrogens in soy could cause him developmental problems (not to mention the gut damage caused by those solids). A baby's gut is not sealed until at least six months of age, which is why the APA and La Leche League recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months at least.

Jennifer R.
Jennifer R8 years ago

Being allergic to milk protein does not mean a baby can't breastfeed -- human milk protein is far different from cow's milk protein (and human milk contains very little casein anyway), so even babies who are intolerant or allergic to cow's milk protein (casein) can breastfeed, especially if their mothers give up milk protein themselves. Being allergic to breast milk would be like being allergic to water.

manyfeathers u.
manyfeathers u8 years ago

Some of us had adopted children, so no breast feeding. What happened to the canned milk we used years ago? Why do young mothers have to have all that crap in formula today? I hear cod liver oil is back.

Marcia Yo
Marcia Yo8 years ago

A few years ago I was asked to purchase powdered baby formula. It had been 45 years since purchasing Carnation Evaporated Milk and when I saw a wall of shelves with powdered formula, I read the ingredients and out loud I said, "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!" I felt so bad for babies and at the same time angry that chemical ingriedients were in powdered milk. Stay away from powdered milk also for adults there's poison in it; i.e., half & half, read the ingredients. Back to babies; Are Carnation Evaporated Milk cans poisonous? My parents had to give me goat's milk because I was lactose intolerant. Now one has to investigate if goats are fed poison food. I forget the title but there are women who breastfeed babies. In my opinion that's the only way to go. Now I've written this if a mother can't breastfeed. If a mother can then she absolutely should breastfeed her baby.

Erin E.
Erin E.8 years ago

It's so important to remedy this probelm. How can we help change the BPA content in formula? I was not able to breastfeed, I had blood in my breastmilk,a nd was sent home with instructions to see an oncologist. I don't like being made to feel guilty about not breastfeeding. What I do know though is that I had no choice, and I hate the fact that I fed my sweet baby formula with BPA in the can.