We have written on the safety issues involving the chemical bisphenol A in previous issues of the Report. There has been a great deal of debate over how much of a threat BPA presents. Attorneys general from Connecticut, New Jersey and Delaware sent letters last month to 11 companies that make baby bottles and baby formula containers, asking that they no longer use the chemical in their manufacturing because they said it was potentially harmful to infants.
As previously reported, the Food & Drug Administration has tentatively concluded that BPA is safe based on a review of research. Also, some manufacturers have already said they would make BPA-free baby bottles. But Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a real friend of consumers, criticized the FDA for declining to take action after a preliminary study in September drew a possible connection to BPA and risks of heart disease and diabetes. Attorney General Blumenthal observed:
Unfortunately the federal agency, the Federal Food and Drug Administration, has been asleep at the switch, in fact resistant to respecting the scientific evidence that grave harm can result in use of this product.
Several states are considering restricting BPA use, and some manufacturers have begun promoting BPA-free baby bottles. St. Louis-based Handicraft, maker of Dr. Brown’s baby bottles, says on its website that its newest bottles do not contain BPA and urges consumers to check its products for symbols that identify bottles that don’t contain the chemical. Some U.S. stores, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Toys “R” Us, have already said they’re phasing out products that contain BPA. The European Union has said BPA-containing products are safe, but Canada’s government has proposed banning the sale of baby bottles with BPA as a precaution.
BPA is used in lightweight, durable plastics. Products include some baby bottles, sippy cups and reusable food and drink containers, such as reusable sports water bottles, Tupperware, compact discs, DVDs, eyeglass lenses and sports safety goggles and helmets. BPA is also in epoxy resins used to make paints, adhesives and canned food liners. Animal studies have linked BPA with breast, prostate and reproductive system abnormalities and some cancers, but experts disagree on whether it poses health risks for humans. The FDA’s advice for consumers who want to reduce exposure includes avoiding plastic containers imprinted with the recycling number 7, as many of those contain BPA, and to avoid warming food in such containers.
Source: Associated Press
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