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First Years Pregnancy Oct 27, 2020
3 Minutes

3 ways to avoid a damaging plastic in your baby’s bottle…

Thankfully the awareness around how bad certain plastics (and Microplastics) are for our health and environment is growing. Particularly around specific plastics like BPA. Click here for more. This has led to BPA being banned from many baby products. Good news. 

However, what about the alternatives? New research is suggesting Polypropylene (PP) a common alternative used in 80% of baby bottles and feeding implements is not much better. Here is what you need to know, what to use instead and most importantly how to reduce exposure:  

New research has lifted the potentially damaging nature of commonly used plastic in baby bottles: Polypropylene: 

The highly respected journal Nature recently released a piece of research suggesting that certain feeding bottles ‘release microplastics’ with values as high as 16 million particles/litre! That is a lot of plastic. 

What is a microplastic? Why does this matter?

You may have heard about Microplastics in relation to the environment. Specifically related to the damage that is being done to fish and the ocean. This is from our excessive use of plastics and the particles that are shed from them. Essentially they are very small fragments of plastic that can get everywhere. Leading to all sorts of problems including potential damage to our health.

Why are these types of plastic such a problem? 

Firstly, this research shows there is ‘direct release of Microplastics from certain plastic products’. They looked specifically at baby feeding bottles – 80% of which are made with this form of plastic.

Particularly problematic is the extent of the release when they are exposed to high heat, shaking and repeated use. Specifically sterilisation/high water temperature which is of course what we do (a lot) to babies bottles! 

We know that certain plastics are not good for our health when we are exposed repeatedly and in any form of substantial dose.

According to the research:

‘exposure to Microplastics can induce gut microbiota dysbiosis and lipid metabolism disorder in mice and sub-micrometer Microplastics can penetrate the blood-brain barrier…inducing behavioural disorders.’ 

Translation: can harm the all important microbiome. Click here for more. Also not what we want rapidly developing little brains exposed to. 

Not what we want for our babies. Click here for a lot more research from the Endocrine Society. 

The good news: three ways we can avoid/reduce exposure!

One easy way to avoid this exposure is to use glass baby bottles of course. Click here for some of our favourites by MAM (nope, not sponsored).

However, the research also showed that Microplastics can be quite easily rinsed away and suggests:

‘introducing an additional washing step using room temperature boiled water to rinse away loose Microplastics present on the walls of the sterilised infant feeding bottles.’ 

So, another way: just rinse your bottles off thoroughly once you’ve sterilised them. Easy enough. 

Avoid the microwave when it comes to avoiding damage from this type of plastic: 

Additionally, research showed that microwave heating can substantially increase the release of these Microplastics. This is due to ‘generation of localised micro pockets of superheated water’. They found that these very hot pockets of water had the most particles of plastic present. Interestingly enough, the WHO actually advise against microwave use because of uneven heating. Here’s another reason. 

Bottom line: how to minimise the exposure your baby has to this type of plastic: 

  • Awareness: it may seem that there is always something to ‘worry about’ however, knowledge is power!. Knowing what to avoid only reduces potential negatives for your baby. The good news is there are lots of easy ways to avoid.
  • Ditch the plastic baby bottles for Silicone or Glass.
  • If you’re using plastic baby bottles: rinse them in boiled then cooled water to eliminate Microplastic particles. 
  • Avoid heating in the microwave. 


This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.



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