Have you read and reread the Z Report on BPA, but have trouble remembering which brands are which when you get to the store?
Have you been meaning to replace some bottles or a sippy cup, but have a hard time deciding when you're staring at all those products on the shelf?
Now you can keep the Z Report at your fingertips, with information that doesn't go out-of-date, updated with new products at the same time they arrive on store shelves. Thanks to a partnership between ZRecs and Mobile Commons, our comprehensive directory of BPA in children's feeding products is now available via text message.
How It Works
Text "zrecs" plus a company name and/or a product category to 69866. You'll get a text back (or occasionally two) providing the BPA status of products by that company and/or in that category. Current categories are bottles, sippys, pacifiers, and tableware.
Requirements: Every request sent to this service requires the first word to be "zrecs" to access our BPA database, and must be sent to the number 69866.
Charges/Access fees: This service is currently offered free of any charge except whatever it costs you to send and receive text messages (based on your cell phone plan). This free service is made possible by a partnership between Z Recommends and Mobile Commons, a company that designs and serves mobile applications. We'll invite you to contribute to this project at the foot of this post.
Here are some specific ways you can access our BPA info through this service.
Check all of one company's products: Text "zrecs" and then the company name. Example: "zrecs boon" returns, at the time of this writing:
Reported BPA-Free: Fluid, Benders, Modware, Catch Bowl, Groovy, Snack Ball. W/BPA: Squirt. More at zrecs.com | StdOthrChrgsMayApply. Powered by mCommonsProduct category status and recommendations: For this text service products are covered in the following categories:
bottlesYou can check on a company's products in a particular category by texting "zrecs" + company name + category (no plusses!). Example: "zrecs avent pacifiers" returns, at the time of this writing:
All current Avent pacifiers have BPA. Alternatives: txt pacifier. More at zrecs.com | StdOthrChrgsMayApply. Powered by mCommonsWhenever we find a company's BPA-free offerings in a product area lacking, we'll point you to the alternative: requesting info for the product category overall. In the above case, we wanted to remind you that you can text "zrecs pacifiers," which will return:
BPA-Free pacifiers: all First Years+Playtex, some Evenflo (txt company name + pacifier for specs). More at zrecs.com | StdOthrChrgsMayApply. Powered by mCommonsAs we add new companies to the Z Report, you'll see more companies' products popping up in some of these categories. We have very few listings that run into two messages, and if we run out of space we are more likely to drop companies which are unlikely to be seen in brick-and-mortar stores; when you're shopping online, just check the Z Report.
Get general recommendations or info: There are a few other texts you can send.
- zrecs BPAFree: Basic instructions for checking on companies, plus a list of recommended BPA-Free companies from the Z Report.
- zrecs info: Reminds you that we canvassed companies, rather than lab-testing, to get the information in our report.
- zrecs disclaimer: We do our best, all the time.
We have created a double-sided wallet card you can take with you that has basic BPA-free recommendations and instructions for querying the Z Report using text messages. Learn more and get it here.
Our goal in confronting the issue of BPA in children's products has always been to arm parents with information to use in their own decision-making. That's why we created the Z Report, and why we work so hard to keep it updated.
By providing BPA product information via text message, you now have our Z Report at your fingertips. See a nice new sippy cup on the grocery store shelf you'd like to try, but don't know if it's BPA-free? Text ZRecs. Want to replace those baby bottles on the shopping trip you're already on, but can't remember which brands we recommend? Text ZRecs.
How You Can Help
Neither ZRecs nor Mobile Commons receives any money from your cellular phone company to provide this service. Mobile Commons is generously subsidizing the service, and we're paying the rest out-of-pocket, which we are thankful to be able to do in the short term thanks to the advertising that runs on our blog and the purchases readers make through our Amazon.com search box or links. We won't be too specific, but these fees are bigger than a breadbox, smaller than a refrigerator box, and unsustainable for us to pay over the long term. Along with generous support from Mobile Commons, ZRecs is footing the bill now and offering this service for free in order to see what the uptake is, how consumers use it, and whether others are willing to help sustain it.
That's where you come in.
If you appreciate what we are doing with this service and with the Z Report in general to help bring accurate, timely BPA information to consumers when and where they need it; if you appreciate the pressure we are putting on companies to listen to parents' concerns about BPA and change the way they do business; if want to see this text-based service continue, we encourage you to donate now to a fund we have established for this purpose.
Money donated to this fund is not tax-deductible (we are not a charity) but will be used specifically to pay the ongoing costs of this text-messaging project, unless you specify in comments in the donation form that you would like it to be used for other, future ZRecs services or features.
Give the service a try and see what you think - just text "zrecs" and a company name and/or product category to 69866 and see what you get back from ZRecs and Mobile Commons.
Since this post is intended as a tutorial, please share your comments or questions here.