image credit: How can I recycle this
HealthCanada, a Canadian regulatory body, has stepped forward and reiterated what many already know: BPA, aka bisphenol A, is unsafe when in contact with human consumables. They are recommending a total ban of their use, specifically in baby bottles.
An ubiquitous chemical found in hard plastic water bottles, DVDs, CDs and hundreds of other common items came under increased pressure Friday when Canada labeled it dangerous and said it may ban its use in baby bottles.
Health Canada made the announcement shortly after a U.S. company said it would stop selling hard-plastic Nalgene water bottles made with bisphenol A because of growing consumer concern over whether the chemical poses a health risk.
Health Canada is the first regulatory body in the world to call bisphenol A dangerous. It could be the first step in Canada banning the chemical altogether.
This echoes similar findings by the U.S. government’s National Toxicology Program, which said that:
there is “some concern” about BPA from experiments on rats that linked the chemical to changes in behavior and the brain, early puberty and possibly precancerous changes in the prostate and breast. While such animal studies only provide “limited evidence” of risk, the draft report said a possible effect on humans “cannot be dismissed.”
As I previously posted, the number of scientists finding health concerns with the use of BPAs is rising:
…a growing number of scientists are concluding, from some animal tests, that exposure to BPA in the womb raises the risk of certain cancers, hampers fertility and could contribute to childhood behavioral problems such as hyperactivity.
This is scary stuff, but you have to applaud HealthCanada, and Canada for taking a stand. As of this week, Wal-Mart Canada and other major retailers in Canada began removing BPA-based food-related products such as baby bottles and sipping cups from store shelves.
Can Wal-Mart (US) be far behind?
Meanwhile, in the US, the FDA still maintains their ridiculous stance. Luckily, not everyone in the government is swayed by the FDA’s “findings”:
In Washington a key Democratic Senator said the chemical should be banned from all children’s products and food-packing containers. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York blasted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for signing off on bisphenol A, despite dozens of studies suggesting it may interfere with hormones and other biological functions.
“At best FDA gave Americans a false sense of comfort about a questionable substance. At worst, they put millions of Americans directly at risk,” Schumer said.
Believe me, before I knew any better, I used a Nalgene bottle. But those days are long over, and we use BornFree bottles for our kids.
What can we do?
1. Protect yourself and your family: buy Sigg or other bottles made from qualified and safe materials. They make these kid-sized as well, so buy them for the whole family!
2. Educate yourself on your options: know what your bottles are made from.
3. Vote with your wallet: don’t buy Nalgene bottles or other containers known to contain BPAs.
4. Contact the FDA: ask them to review their findings or comment on those of HealthCanada and the U.S. government’s National Toxicology Program.