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Microplastic in Baby Formula

Infants may ingest microplastics from baby bottles.

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Microplastic in baby bottle formula

Babies who drink from heated plastic bottles are likely swallowing high levels of microplastic particles along with their formula, according to a study in Nature Food.

After testing the 10 baby bottle brands that account for nearly 70% of the bottles used around the world to feed infants, a team of researchers found that bottles made of polypropylene plastic released up to 16.2 million microplastic particles per liter of liquid when sterilized and then exposed to warm (158 degrees Fahrenheit) water. Warmer (203 F) water caused even greater leaching of microplastics—as much as 55 million particles per liter.

The investigators stress, however, that we do not know what, if any, impact ingesting such microplastic levels has on infant health. The report says parents using plastic baby bottles can reduce the number of plastic particles in their baby’s formula by following these guidelines:

  • Allow the bottle to cool after sterilization, and rinse it out at least three times before use.
  • If using plastic baby bottles, prepare the infant formula in a nonplastic container, then transfer it into the baby bottle after it has cooled to room temperature.
  • Don’t shake the formula in the bottle at any time.
  • Do not use plastic containers to reheat prepared formula.

See also: Sugar in Baby Formula Causes Weight Gain

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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