8:05am , Sunday 7th March 2021

Buying Lies: Unsafe Chemicals in Baby bottles

4 February 2021

Baby bottles containing harmful substances are sold in pharmacies across Egypt

Egyptian mothers trust well-known brands that label their baby bottles “BPA free”, but Cairo University’s Micro Analysis Center detects varying percentages of the toxic substance

I anticipated the birth of my child with excitement. I was fully prepared, and made sure I bought the best quality of everything she would need. After some research and consultation, I bought an imported baby bottle labelled “BPA [Bisphenol A] free”. Although it cost five times the price of other baby bottles, I bought the lie that promised a product free from the harmful industrial chemical.

I stood in the pharmacy, eyeing the shelves where the plastic baby bottles were stacked, and glanced at the bottles labelled “BPA free”.

I had several concerns about the effect of BPA on my baby‘s health. After a quick Internet search, I found warnings about the dangers of this substance to human health in general, and to infants in particular. Since, I have dug deeper into BPA and its effects.

This investigation documents the commercial fraud of how major brands of plastic baby bottles that do not comply with Egyptian specifications, containing varying percentages of the harmful BPA, are being sold despite the “BPA Free” label stamped on it. In addition to the health risk of this substance on infants, in 2011 the European Committee for Food Security banned the use of BPA in the production of baby bottles.

BPA is a chemical substance introduced into plastic manufacturing in the 60s. It is mostly used in the production of food and beverage containers as it gives strength, stiffness and the ability to withstand high temperatures.

The health risks of the infusion of this chemical substance from the plastic into the fluid inside the include endocrine disorders, infertility for men and women and precocious puberty, in addition to hormonal tumors such as breast and prostate cancer and metabolic disorders, according to studies conducted by researchers at the Polish Gdansk University and the Iranian Isfahan University.

The health risks of the infusion of this chemical substance from the plastic into the fluid inside the include endocrine disorders, infertility for men and women and precocious puberty, in addition to hormonal tumors such as breast and prostate cancer and metabolic disorders, according to studies conducted by researchers at the Polish Gdansk University and the Iranian Isfahan University.

Over two million children are born in Egypt every year, according to the Central Agency for Mobilization and Statistics. Over 2.3 million babies were born in 2018 and again in 2019.

Nowadays in Egypt, bottle feeding is preferred over breastfeeding. Hana Aboulghar, a professor of pediatrics at Cairo University, says that bottle feeding has become much more reliable than breastfeeding, noting that UNICEF estimates the percentage of breastfeeding in Egypt to be less than 30%.

She adds that one of the main reasons for the increase in baby bottle feeding is the premature decision mothers make to introduce synthetic milk to their new born baby, as they are unaware that breast milk begins to flow in abundance three to five days after breastfeeding begins. While it takes a few days for milk to be readily available on demand for your baby, synthetic milk on the other hand, is readily available in all pharmacies.


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