BPA: A dangerous chemical found in baby bottles
BPA Free Baby
Are We Poisoning Our Children?
Health Canada recently announced the dangers imposed on babies and toddlers from a chemical found in baby bottles known as Bisphenol A (BPA). Studies in journals have indicated that even at low doses, the chemical can increase breast and ovarian cancer-cell growth and the growth of some prostate cancer cells.
Researchers have found that 95% of Americans have traces of BPA in their bodies and because of these studies, retailers all across Canada have been pulling baby bottles, sports bottles and other plastics containing the chemical known as bisphenol A (BPA) from store shelves.
On April 18, 2008, Canada was the first country to ban the import and sales of baby bottles containing bisphenol A (BPA). Unfortunately, even with this alarming news, a new U.S. report neither condemns nor clears the controversial chemical, which Canadian retailers are rushing to get off the shelves.
Profits Before People?
"There is some concern for neural and behavioural effects in fetuses, infants, and children at current human exposures" to BPA, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) said in a release Tuesday.
If the National Toxicology Program believes this, how do major American corporations like Toys 'R' Us get away with selling childrens products that contain BPA until 2009?
On April 21, 2008, Bob Friedland, a spokesperson for Toys 'R' Us had this statement to make:
Toys"R"Us, Inc. is committed to the safety of all its customers and is vigilant about staying current with emerging scientific and other thinking about ingredients in products sold in its stores.
While the FDA has not changed its position on the safety of products made with Bisphenol-A (BPA), in light of growing consumer concerns on this topic, the company has been working with manufacturers to phase out all baby bottles and other baby feeding products containing BPA in its Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores nationwide. This process is ongoing and is expected to be completed before the end of 2008.
Understanding the Dangers that BPA Poses:
- Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic chemical compound used in a wide range of consumer products
- Bisphenol A is a hormone disruptor. Studies have linked low-dose BPA exposure with such effects as: permanent changes to genital tract; increase prostate weight; decline in testosterone; breast cells predisposed to cancer; prostate cells more sensitive to hormones and cancer; and hyperactivity.
- BPA in products (such as baby bottles) can leach out and be subsequently ingested.
Recent BPA Studies on Baby Bottles:
In February, 2008, Environmental Defence, a Toronto-based environmental group, tested tested brand names Gerber, Avent and Playtex polycarbonate baby bottles. Tests revealed the following information:
- The highest levels of the chemical were found after bottles were heated, which the group said was done to try to simulate the effects on the plastic of repeated high-temperature dish washing.
- All baby bottles released BPA when heated to 80 degrees.
- All the Playtex products leaked BPA, regardless of whether they were heated
Go BPA Free
On a personal note, I can't even begin to express my disgust on this matter. BPA has been used in our products for the past fifty years. I'm not a doctor, nor am I a scientist, but could BPA (in addition to who knows what other chemicals) be the cause of alarming cancer rates over the last half century?
In 2003, the World Health Organization predicted that Global cancer rates could increase by 50% to 15 million by 2020. Let's face it, for the US government, there's no money to be made in the cure for Cancer: just the drugs that keep people alive.
We put up with a lot as Americans, but harming our children will NOT be tolerated. Look at all the recalls that occured over the past year: deadly toys from China that contained lead and date-rape drugs, contaminated pet food that killed our dogs and cats, 331,582 pounds of frozen hamburger patties that contained E. coli, children's cough medicines that were killing kids...and now this? Isn't it time we've said enough?
The FDA has been on vacation for way too long. Our government is more concerned about the chemical industries making profits than they are about the safety of our children. As for the manufacturers and major retailers that continue to sell these items--hit them where it hurts most--in the wallet. Go BPA-free and boycot companies that harm our children.
For a current list of BPA-free baby bottles available, please read: How to Choose BPA Free Baby Bottles