Monday, October 15, 2007

Doing my best: Blog Action Day

I have tried so hard to do my best by Graham

It hasn’t always been easy. Especially when he was an infant, the realization that almost every aspect of his day-to-day health and well-being was under my control was overwhelming.

But with love in my heart and a terrifying sense of responsibility on my shoulders, I dug in and vowed to consistently do the right thing for him.

I cleared his crib of possible SIDS risks like pillows and stuffed toys. I put him on his back to sleep. I put him on his tummy to play (even though he hated it). As he grew, I sacrificed whatever aesthetic appeal my home may have possessed in favour of area rugs, baby gates and corner covers.

I breastfed. I pumped. I swallowed healthy horse pills and squirted liquid vitamins into Graham's food with a tiny dropper. I bought, cooked and pureed organic veggies.

Up until just a few months ago I heated his bedtime bottles to just the right temperature to lure him into contented sleep.

And for that last act of love and concern, I will always feel guilty.

I feel guilty because, as it turns out, those plastic bottles I was glibly putting in the microwave contained Bisphenol A, a synthetic chemical compound classed by the Government of Canada as a hormone disrupter.

Bisphenol A is used in plastic food and beverage containers, plastic wrap and the resins that line metal cans for food. Even in low doses, it has been linked to permanent changes to the genital tract, increased prostate weight, low testosterone and prostate cells more sensitive to hormones and cancer hyperactivity.

And the chemical is much more likely to leach into food when it is heated.

It breaks my heart that I inadvertently exposed Graham to a potentially harmful chemical and it infuriates me that no one warned me about it. It makes me determined to force the people using this chemical in products destined for our precious, precious children to own up to its risks and provide safer alternatives .

The Canadian government has targeted Bisphenol A for further study, but there is already credible evidence of the impact of even low doses. That’s why I am posting about this today, as part of BlogHers Act Canada.

That’s why I implore you to never, ever heat food in contact with plastic.

And that’s why I am asking you to sign this petition to ban Bisphenol A and to visit this link for more information about it.

Because there are alternatives; we all know there are. Maybe those alternatives are more expensive. Probably those alternatives will throw a huge wrench into a profitable and well-established manufacturing protocol.

But I don’t care. My child is worth it. And so is yours.

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S said...

This terrifies me. I can't tell you how many times we've heated plastic containers in the microwave.


You can only do with best you can with the information available to you at the time...

b*babbler said...

A terrific post. I understand completely... We still use those plastic bottles, and for months we heated them. We were just fortunate that when the Peanut was around 6 months old she no longer cared if her milk was heated (in fact, preferred it unheated) so we only microwaved the bottles for about 6 months.

But still, it was six months too long.

Scary stuff.

ms blue said...

Wonderful post. I signed the petition.

Anonymous said...

I did the same thing. My son is now six but I feel sick just thinking about all the Bisphenol A I unknowingly fed him as an infant and toddler.

Thanks so much for writing this and being a part of our push to get more signatures on the petition. You rock (so does your new blog at MBT - I am addicted - a terrrrrrible commenter - but a fan!)