A baby bottle is a bottle with a soft nipple used to feed an infant. Generally, the soft nipple is made of either latex or silicone, but some alternative, environmentally-safe or BPA-free baby bottles have been introduced to the market in recent years. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) closely regulates the materials used in baby bottles and during the bottle manufacturing process. If a manufactured baby bottle fails to meet these standard regulations, it is subject to a recall.
Baby bottles are typically recalled from the market when there are reports of small parts breaking off from the bottle. Small parts can pose a choking or asphyxiation hazard for infants.
Most recently, concerns have been raised with levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) in plastic baby bottles and the ability for the chemical to leach into the contents of the bottle.
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a component used in the manufacturing of polycarbonate plastic, the type of plastic commonly found in plastic baby bottles. In 1998, not long after Canada announced the ban of BPA, Americans began questioning the use of the product in some of the top brands of baby bottles on the market.
According to some studies, long-term exposure to low doses of BPA can cause chronic toxicity in humans, leading to a number of possible health and developmental problems. Further reports stated that numerous types of plastic baby bottles leached BPA into the contents when the bottle was heated, posing a long-term risk to infants. Despite FDA reports in 2008 that the levels of BPA present in plastic baby bottles are far too low to present a health risk, many stores began pulling these baby bottles from their shelves and replacing them with newer, BPA-free alternatives. The most popular baby bottle companies primarily involved in the BPA controversy include Avent, Dr. Brown’s, Evenflo, Gerber, and Playtex, and they have since been offering BPA-free baby bottles.
As of January 2010, the FDA has agreed that there is reason for concern over infant exposure to BPA, and a $30 million BPA research program has been initiated for further studies. However, the FDA has still not issued any bans or warnings for BPA-containing products or plastic baby bottles.
Examples of baby bottles that are defective include:
In August 2006, Gerber Products Company of New Jersey issued a recall on 78 units of their Fashion Tint Bottles due to a labeling error. The 9-ounce bottles were marketed in a 3-pack design, with a label reading, “Gerber Fashion Tint Bottles with Silicone Nipples,” but the bottles had latex nipples instead of silicone. Latex can cause severe reactions in those allergic to the material. The bottles were distributed in stores nationwide, and affected lots included the UPC code 15000 78766. The following Day Codes were printed on the back of the package: 6124 R, 6129 R, 6125 R, and 6130 R.
American Baby Concepts of Iowa announced a warning for consumers regarding temperature monitor dots on Halo Nurser infant bottles. It was reported that the temperature monitor dot located on the side of the bottle may come loose and separate from the bottle. The liquid crystal dot is non-toxic, but could present a choking hazard to babies and young children. A total of 15 complaints were received about the temperature monitor dot becoming detached from the bottle. The defective bottles were distributed between February 1990 and March 1991 in stores nationwide, and the warning involved 17,000 Halo Nurser baby bottles.