Bisphenol A (BPA)

What is BPA?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical used to make a hard, clear plastic known as polycarbonate. BPA is also used in the manufacture of epoxy resins which act as a protective lining on the inside of some metal-based food and beverage cans.

BPA can be found in some older types of polycarbonate baby bottles as well as in many other consumer products, including reusable polycarbonate water bottles, pitchers, water carboys, tableware, and food storage containers.

Is BPA safe?

Most Canadians are exposed to very low levels of BPA that do not pose a health risk to the general population. In fact, our exposure levels are actually lower than previously estimated.

Even so, extra precautions were put in place to increase protection for those most vulnerable: newborns and infants.

We are also reviewing the latest information on BPA in addition to conducting our own research as part of the government's Chemicals Management Plan.

BPA and food packaging

BPA from food packaging is not a health risk to Canadians, including newborns and children.

BPA and infants

Under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, it is illegal to manufacture, import, advertise, or sell polycarbonate baby bottles that contain BPA.

Are my polycarbonate baby bottles BPA-free?

  • Check the bottom of your bottle for a three-sided triangular arrow with a number in the centre.
  • If the number is 7, your bottle maycontain BPA. The number 7 is also used to identify other plastics, and most number 7 plastics do not contain BPA.
  • The bottle is unlikely to contain BPA if there is no reference to "PC" or "polycarbonate" on its packaging.
  • If you're still unsure about the type of plastic, contact the manufacturer.
Number 7 - Other

What should I do if my polycarbonate baby bottles contain BPA?

If you choose to continue using polycarbonate baby bottles, there are steps you can take to reduce your baby's exposure to BPA.

  • Do not put very hot/boiling water in polycarbonate baby bottles. Very hot water causes BPA to leach out of the bottle at a much higher rate.
  • Boiled water should be cooled to a lukewarm temperature in a BPA-free container before transferring to polycarbonate baby bottles.
  • Sterilize bottles according to the manufacturer's instructions. Make sure polycarbonate bottles have cooled before pouring liquid into them.
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