Recycle: Your Baby’s Life Could Depend on it
In the News:
- Newcastle Advertiser December 2011: “CANSA Newcastle donated 36 milk bottles to Home Meah in exchange for the old bottles. The initiative was motivated by concern that many of the bottles in use are BPA (containing the harmful chemical Bisphenol A) baby bottles donated to Home Meah by residents, unaware of the health risks.” Read more here…
- Dump the dangers of BPA! At the CANSA Care Centre in Mowbray. Shirley Daki got rid of her toxic PC baby bottle. Read more here…
- Zululand Observer, 18 November 2011: “A group of mothers received new baby bottles on Tuesday at the Empangeni Clinic as a part of the CANSA Free Exchange project.” Read more here…
The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) is calling on all South Africans to join them in their ‘BPA Baby Bottle Exchange & Recycling Project’ – the new law just passed by the government stops the importation, distribution and sale of polycarbonate baby bottles containing BPA with immediate effect – but this still leaves millions of BPA baby bottles in circulation used by mothers unaware of the health risks.
The harmful chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in PC plastics used to make all sorts of household articles, including baby bottles. BPA molecules migrate into milk and other liquids from the bottle, especially when it is heated or microwaved. When babies drink the milk, BPA molecules are absorbed into their bodies that are still developing and thus much more vulnerable. BPA acts as an artificial hormone and can disrupt the baby’s hormonal development that could lead to serious health problems later in life – such as hormonal disorders, premature puberty, childhood obesity, erectile dysfunction, prostate cancer and breast cancer. Download CANSA’s BPA Fact Sheet Oct2011
“Although we’re very pleased with government passing this law, and the effort of some leading retailers having cleared their shelves of BPA baby bottles, we remain extremely concerned about the bulk of unsafe baby bottles in use.” says Sue Janse Van Rensburg, CANSA’s CEO.
“To make the public aware of the lurking health hazard, CANSA launched this campaign joined by our ‘Smart Choice’ Seal partners, Nuby, NUK and Pretty Baby, supported by Shoprite Checkers and Interwaste recycling with 50 eeZeeBins.”
As of 1st November, bring your old Polycarbonate (PC) baby bottle to any CANSA Care Centre countrywide for safe recycling. The first 6 000 people to respond will receive a brand new CANSA ‘Smart Choice’ BPA-free baby bottle in exchange.
CANSA will continue to advocate for the use of BPA-free baby bottles to ensure that the message reaches all parents and to stop the use and or passing-down of used PC bottles.
“Help us withdraw as many harmful BPA-containing baby bottles as possible; or spread the message to as many friends and family via facebook and twitter. Let’s reduce BPA-related health risks, including breast cancer, by joining this life-saving project.” concludes Janse van Rensburg.
Exchanging of PC bottles will continue while stocks last, so visit your nearest CANSA Care Centre soon. For details go to www.cansa.org.za or call toll-free 0800 22 66 22).
(For more information, please contact CANSA toll-free 0800 22 66 22, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Q: What is the BPA Baby Bottle Exchange & Recycling Project Q&A?
A: The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) is running their ‘BPA Baby Bottle Exchange & Recycling Project’ – the new law just passed by the government stops the importation, distribution and sale of polycarbonate baby bottles containing BPA with immediate effect. The public is encouraged to bring their old Polycarbonate (PC) baby bottles to any CANSA Care Centre for recycling and deposit into the Interwaste eeZeeBin. The first 6000 people to respond get a new CANSA Smart Choice BPA-free baby bottle in exchange. Sponsors include Nuby, NUK and Pretty Baby manufacturers.
Objectives of the project include:
- Reduce BPA-related health risks, including breast cancer
- Increase general awareness of BPA risk and the recent law banning the importation and sale of PC baby bottles
- Provide information on the various ranges of BPA-free bottles in the market and empowering the public to make informed choices
Q: What is BPA and why is it bad?
A: BPA is a high-production volume, artificial, industrial, man-made molecule that is an environmental contaminant with established endocrine disruptor properties. This harmful chemical is found in PC plastics used to make all sorts of household articles, including baby bottles. BPA molecules migrate into milk and other liquids from the bottle, and heating up these bottles releases up to 55-times more BPA. When babies drink the milk, BPA molecules are absorbed into their developing and vulnerable bodies. BPA acts as an artificial hormone and can disrupt the baby’s hormonal development that could lead to serious health problems later in life – such as hormonal disorders, premature puberty, childhood obesity, erectile dysfunction, prostate cancer and breast cancer.
Q: How do I know if a baby bottle has BPA in it?
Many baby bottles have no plastic recycling numbers imprinted on the bottom – making identification tricky once a bottle had been taken out of its wrapper.
Themeaning of markings that do appear on bottles are as follows:
- All bottles exhibiting the recycle triangle, with the number “7” and the letters “PC” are made of Polycarbonate; do contain BPA; and need to be replaced.
- All bottles exhibiting the recycle triangle, with the number “7” and the letter “T” are made of Tritan, are BPA-Free and need not be replaced.
- All bottles exhibiting the recycle triangle, with the number “5” and the letters “PP” are made of Polypropylene; are BPA-Free and need not be replaced.
- Bottles with no markings, manufactured from smoky honey coloured plastic are probably safe – yet need to be checked with the distributor.
- Bottles exhibiting the recycle triangle, with the number “7” and the word “OTHER” are most probably Polycarbonate, containing BPA and need to be replaced.
- CANSA recommends that bottles that are not clearly marked and therefore no clear indication of the chemical content – are not to be purchased.
When there is any doubt – don’t take a gamble – rather replace the bottle.
Q: How can I reduce the potential cancer risk of BPA?
A: The problem of BPA is made worse by the spread and common use of BPA-containing PC baby bottles over many decades in South Africa as well as the passing-down of used PC bottles to a consumer segment that can least afford medical care. Mid-year statistics estimate the number of babies and toddlers aged 0–4 years at 5.2 million, which may suggest several million PC bottles in circulation at present. You can help withdraw as many harmful BPA-containing baby bottles as possible and reduce BPA-related health risks, including breast cancer, by joining this life-saving project. Also, avoid putting polycarbonate plastic food containers in the microwave and avoid using plastic utensils with a number 7 in a triangle and the letters PC underneath the triangle.
- Download the ‘Plastic Identification Codes’ list (supplied by Plastics|SA).
CANSA offers a unique integrated service to the public and all people affected by cancer. As a leading role-player in cancer research (R5 million spent annually), the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes as well as strengthen our watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public.
Our wide-reaching health programme includes prevention and education campaigns, CANSA Care Centres that offer stoma and lymphoedema clinics, medical equipment hire, toll-free line and support to children and their families affected by cancer. Patient care and support in the form of 13 CANSA Care Lodges and the main metropolitan areas plus one hospitium (based in Polokwane) for out-of-town cancer patients as well as CANSA-TLC Lodging for paediatric oncology parents