Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Suffolk County Bans BPA Plastics

Bisphenol A (BPA) —a chemical found in the linings of cans and in many plastic products, including sports bottles, food-storage containers and baby bottles—has potential links to a wide range of health effects. BPA has been linked to a variety of diseases including an increased risk of diseases or disorders of the brain, reproductive, and immune systems; recent studies have linked BPA exposure to problems with liver function testing, an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, and interruptions in chemotherapy treatment; and BPA exposure has long been linked to hormonal disturbances. A study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has shown that 93% of Americans excrete some BPA in their urine. New studies also show that BPA seems to stay in the body longer than previously believed. 

According to a press release from Consumers Union, New York's Suffolk County Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee passed legislation to protect babies and toddlers from ingesting BPA from beverage containers. BPA is found in the hard plastics used to make baby bottles and “sippy” cups, as well as in epoxy resins of many beverage containers. The decision makes it the first jurisdiction in the nation to ban BPA!

Consumers Union has repeatedly called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the use of BPA in infant and children's products and food and beverage containers. The FDA already has enough scientific data to support such a ban but they continue to allow the products to remain on the market while they do further research. Several states, such as Oregon, Washington and California, and cities, such as Chicago are also considering the ban. In 2008, the Canadian government banned BPA use in baby bottles.

In August 2008, the FDA said BPA was safe for humans. But the agency only considered studies that had been financed by the plastics industry. At a recent Science Board Hearing, FDA tacitly acknowledged the serious health concerns regarding BPA, but the agency continues to defend their position that no public health safeguards should be implemented at this time.

CU was one of the first organizations to test and report on consumer products with BPA, and warned consumers about the potential risks almost a decade ago. Since CU's first study, more than a hundred studies have been published showing a wide range of adverse effects in animals at low doses of BPA, doses that approximate current levels circulating in the human population. CU recently tested "BPA-free" claims on bottles and has also published advice on how consumers can reduce their exposure to BPA. For more information, please visit the food section of

No comments: