An eco-friendly baby bottle

Carole LaMond

When Peter Totfalusi opened Perfectly Natural a year ago most of the customers who sought out his Sudbury store were interested in organic, natural or free trade products.

Customers bought his eco-friendly, chemical-free, water and baby bottles for environmental reasons.

Now, with the recent publicity about bisphenol A (BPA) in water and baby bottles, and increased concern that long-term, low-dose exposure to BPA may induce chronic toxicity in humans, customers are flocking to his store and Web site to purchase those products for health reasons.

"Sales have increased significantly," said Totfalusi. "It’s at the point where it’s tough to keep them in stock."

BPA is a key molecule in production of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin. Polycarbonate plastic, which is clear and nearly shatterproof, is used to make a variety of common products including baby and water bottles, sports equipment, medical devices, CDs and household electronics. Epoxy resins are used as coating on the inside of some food and drinks cans and the chemical can leach into the foods.

Recently CVS, Wal-Mart, Nalgene, Playtex and other companies have announced that they are pulling hard plastic bottles containing BPA off their shelves.

Customers are searching for alternatives to these products, said Totfalusi, but often don’t know that he stocks them in his Sudbury store as well as online at

"I’ll ship it out right away, sometimes they get it in one day," said Totfalusi. "Right now I offer free shipping for orders over $25 so I make it super-convenient."   

Totfalusi sells Green to Grow baby bottles in a variety of sizes and with pure rubber latex nipples in three sizes for newborns to older babies.

"The Green to Grow bottles are very easy to use compared to other brands where there are a lot of parts to put together that, a lot of the time, they leak," said Totfalusi.

Totfalusi stocks a 90-use corn-based biodegradable water bottle with a filter as well as line of metal Sigg bottles.

"The Sigg bottles are attractive and practical. There is a water-based liner inside the bottle that has been tested - it’s a Swiss technology - and there is no leaching," said Totfalusi. "It’s light-weight, and it keeps your drink cold for a long time. Even in summertime when it warms up, if you leave it in the car your drink still tastes fresh."

A 2008 draft report by the U.S. National Toxicology Program concluded "there is some concern for neural and behavioral effects in fetuses, infants, and children at current human exposures," and that there is "some concern for bisphenol A exposure in these populations based on effects in the prostate gland, mammary gland, and an earlier age for puberty in females."

"Some concern" is in the middle of the five levels of concern, which range from "serious" to "negligible," used by the agency.

In April the Canadian government proposed classifying the chemical as "toxic to human health and the environment."

BPA had been used for decades. Hard transparent plastics with the recycling number 7 contain BPA, although some with that number do not.

Totfalusi first heard about BPA in Naglene brand bottles two years ago when he was researching environmentally-friendly products for his store which sells a range of green or free trade products including cosmetics, cleaning supplies, housewares, clothing and gift items.

"The research is definitely out there. People can go on the Internet and find a ton of information," said Totfalusi. "If there is a concern about any product people should just play it safe. It’s always better to be safe than sorry."

Perfectly Natural is located at 523 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, 978-440-7500, Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. and at

Sudbury Town Crier