Baby teethers may contain potentially harmful chemicals

By admin
12 December 2016

A chemical that's banned from baby bottles and cups is still widely used in baby teethers, a new study finds.

Researchers in the United States have tested five dozen baby teethers and found that all of them contained bisphenol-A (BPA) and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Studies in animals have shown that endocrine disruptors interfere with hormones and cause developmental, reproductive and neurological harm.

As a result, the European Commission in 2011 restricted the use of BPA in baby bottles. The U.S. followed suit a year later, banning it from baby bottles, and also from children's drinking cups.

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The researchers also noted that while most of the teethers they tested were labelled BPA-free or non-toxic, all of them contained BPA. In addition, the teethers contained a range of parabens and the antimicrobial agents triclosan and triclocarban, which are also endocrine disruptors.

"The findings could be used to develop appropriate policies to protect infants from exposure to potentially toxic chemicals found in teethers," the authors wrote.

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Baby teethers are used to soothe babies' gums when their teeth start coming in, typically between three and seven months of age. Because babies suck on teethers, the presence of potentially harmful chemicals on the surface is worrying, especially since the researchers claim that BPA and other chemicals “leached out” of the teethers into water.

The study looked at 59 solid, gel-filled or water-filled teethers, which were all purchased online in the U.S. and tested for 26 potential endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Study results were first published in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology.

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