We’re back from the baby products show in Vegas with news on the plastic bottle front. (In case you are new to this blog, we pulled our recommendation of polycarbonate baby bottles after a federal report raised health concerns about a chemical (BPA) that leaches from the bottles with normal use).

As we headed off to the trade show, we received a statement from Carolyn Hentschell, president of Handi-Craft/Dr. Brown’s (Dr. Brown’s is the #2 seller of polycarbonate baby bottles, behind Avent).

In the statement, Hentschell reveals that Dr. Brown’s will not only debut a glass version shortly, but also a polypropylene bottle (a different type of plastic that does NOT have the safety concerns that have been raised about polycarbonate). Here’s the statement:

Dr. Brown’s will soon be producing glass bottles, and I wanted to offer a little more information. The new bottles will make their debut in a few months. We are also planning to manufacture polypropylene bottles which should be available following the glass bottles. All our bottle types will include our patented vent system – developed by a doctor for the health and well-being of babies – which reduces feeding problems like colic, spit-up, burping and gas.

Over the past few months there has been increasing interest from retailers and moms for a choice in bottle materials. So now, parents will have choices that allow them to continue to use Dr. Brown’s baby bottles.  These alternate materials are not a replacement to our current materials but rather a line extension.  Now parents have more choices.

We continue to be completely convinced with the overwhelming body of scientific evidence from around the world that deems polycarbonate plastic to be safe for use with baby bottles. Our goal is to adjust to current market demand and to allow all customers access to our vented technology.

We will be sure to let your readers know when our new bottles hit the market.

We met with Hentschell and Dr. Brown’s at the trade show and appreciated their response to the concerns raised about BPA and polycarbonate bottles. While we realize polycarbonate baby bottles are in a tough spot here (they can’t concede their product might be dangerous, but they also don’t want to deaf to parent concerns), we thought Dr. Brown had the position: give parents the CHOICE of different bottles.

Meanwhile, in other news, Evenflo has announced it will phase out polycarbonate baby bottles in 2008. That’s big news, as Evenflo is a big baby bottle seller. Evenflo makes a wide variety of glass, polypropylene  and polycarbonate bottles. So, starting next year, Evenflo will only sell glass and polypropylene.

Evenflo has seen a sharp rise in glass bottle sales, as it is one of the few glass bottle makers in the U.S. It’s unclear what percentage of Evenflo’s bottle sales are polycarbonate, but clearly the company is far behind Avent and Dr. Brown’s in polycarbonate sales—so while this change may be more symbolic than significant, it does mark the first time a major baby bottle maker has made such a move.

Finally we met with Avent—Avent’s executives kept a good poker face during our meeting, saying didn’t plan to change a thing with their bottle line. They are sticking with polycarbonate.

So, that’s the news! We’ll continue to follow this issue and post developments as they happen.