Sunday, November 7, 2010

What?? A sippy cup made from PVC!

I really can't believe I missed this, but I just realized recently that the sippy cup I was giving to my toddler to drink water out of... is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Who makes sippy cups out of PVC?! Apparently, Arrow Plastic Manufacturing Company does. How could I have been fooled? The top of the sippy cup is made from polypropylene. OK. The bottom part was clear and hard -- I just assumed it was polystyrene...but if you look closely at the plastic number logo at the bottom, it says "3" which is... PVC. Not OK. The main concern with PVC is the phthalate plasticizers that are used to make PVC more flexible, since it's a brittle polymer in its unmodified form. Phthalates, which are considered to be estrogen mimics, can leach out of PVC products. Bad. According to Arrow, there are no phthalates in the hard PVC plastic used to make the sippy cups, so they are safe. And oh yeah, the sippy cups don't contain BPA either! Of course they don't. BPA isn't used to make PVC... And apparently, lots of other additives are also generally added during PVC processing, like heat stabilizers, UV stabilizers, lubricants, processing aids, impact modifiers, etc.

I'm not sure how reassured I am by that. I did some Googling, and the only thing I could find about PVC sippy cups is this article from Green & Clean MOM who seems to have gone through a similar experience of "Are you kidding me?"

I do wonder about all the PVC water pipes out there though... If those are considered safe to transport drinking water, then technically, these sippy cups should be "safe" too, right?

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