Two Popular Baby Bottle Companies Are Being Sued Over Microplastic Concerns

The lawsuit claims the companies were deceitful with their advertising tactics, amongst other things.

Lauren Wellbank - Author
By

Jul. 5 2024, Published 11:49 a.m. ET

A view of Avent baby products on display in a gift basket.
Source: Getty Images

A group of concerned parents have banned together to file a class action lawsuit against two popular baby bottle manufacturers. In the suit, the parents allege that both Philips Avent and Dr. Brown's intentionally mislead consumers about the safety of certain baby bottles and sippy cups, which the parents claim can expose infants and toddlers to harmful microplastics.

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Find out if your baby's bottles are included in Dr. Browns baby bottle lawsuit, and what you need to know about the claims being made.

Close-up shot of the packaging for Dr. Brown's Natural Flow baby product with the company logo visible.
Source: Getty Images
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A class action lawsuit has been lodged against Dr. Brown's baby bottles.

On June 25, 2024 a proposed class action lawsuit was filed in federal court in California, according to Reuters. The parents behind the suit are hoping to be awarded damages, as well as an injunction that would prevent the plastic bottles from being marketed as safe. The 48-page legal document details why they find the marketing strategy exceptionally egregious, saying it takes advantage of concerned parents and gives them the expectation that these items pose no risk to their children.

The Class Action website breaks down some of the specific claims listed in the lawsuit, which call Dr. Brown's out for listing its bottles as being the No. 1 bottle recommended by pediatricians, something they say gives parents a false sense of the product's safety. Similarly, they target Philips Avent over claims that it is the No. 1 bottle brand, which the lawsuit says also sends an unclear message to parents about the integrity of the bottles.

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Additionally, the lawsuit highlights the fact that both companies tout their bottles as BPA-free, which they believe is done to mislead customers about the dangers of heating up plastic baby bottles, something both companies recommend as part of the sterilization and feeding process. Heating plastics, whether or not they are BPA-free, can cause them to leach microplastics, which the parents say is then ingested by newborns and toddlers using the company's bottles.

According to the suit, heating the polypropylene bottles can release anywhere from 13.5 to 67.5 percent more microplastics into the liquid within the bottles and cups, which an unrelated Environment Science Technology study says can add up to up to "22.1 ng/kg [a] day of microplastics" when that liquid is dairy.

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The Dr. Brown's bottles and sippy cups listed in the suit include:

  • Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Anti-Colic Options+ Narrow Baby Bottle
  • Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Anti-Colic Options+ Wide-Neck Baby Bottle
  • Dr. Brown’s Milestones™ Narrow Sippy Bottle
  • Dr. Brown’s Milestones™ Wide-Neck Sippy Bottle
  • Dr. Brown’s Milestones™ Narrow Sippy Straw Bottle
  • Dr. Brown’s Milestones™ Wide-Neck Sippy Straw Bottle.

The Philips Avent products were also mentioned by name, and include:

  • Philips Avent Anti-Colic Baby Bottle
  • Philips Avent Anti-Colic Baby Bottle with AirFree Vent
  • Philips Avent Natural Response Baby Bottle
  • Philips Avent Natural Trainer Cup
  • Philips Avent Spout Cup.
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Is there a Dr. Brown's baby bottle recall?

As of the filing of the lawsuit, neither Dr. Brown's nor Philips Avent had issued a recall on their products. And while Dr. Brown's does have a safety recall notice up on its website about two other products — specifically on the Loveys that were sold between August 2015 and March 2018, and the Natural Bottle & Dish Soap that was sold between September 2016 and June 2017 — there is no mention of the microplastics allegations on their website.

Green Matters doesn't offer medical advice and this article should not serve as a substitute for a conversation with a doctor. If you have concerns about your child's exposure to microplastics after using the products listed in the lawsuit, you should reach out to your child's pediatrician.

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