Thursday, June 4, 2009

BPA in plastics - safe or unsafe?

I just read an interesting article in Sunday's Washington Post about food packing industry executives getting together to brainstorm strategies to try to block the government from banning BPA from plastics, cans, baby toys, etc. The Washington Post obtained internal notes from the private meeting of executives/lobbyists - the article discussed some of the strategies and brainstorming sessions that occurred, specifically about marketing BPA products as "safe" to young mothers who make purchasing decisions for their households (baby bottles, baby toys, baby formula cans, sippy cups, canned foods/sodas). While I don't know everything about the research and science behind the issues surrounding BPA, I personally have made an effort in my house to try to reduce our exposure to plastics containing BPA. Many of my friends, especially those with infants, have done the same and purchase only BPA-free baby bottles, sippy cups, etc. Unfortunately, many of those products were not available when my kids were infants, but I'm glad that there are options out there now and everyone can decide based on their own preference and research. According to the Washington Post article written by Lyndsey Layton:

"Bisphenol A, used in commerce since the 1950s, is added to plastics to give them strength. It is found in hundreds of household products, including plastic bottles and food containers. It is also present in the linings of canned goods such as soup, baby formula and canned fruits and vegetables.

Over the past decade, a growing body of scientific studies has linked the chemical to breast cancer, testicular cancer, diabetes, hyperactivity, obesity, low sperm count, miscarriage and other reproductive problems in laboratory animals. More recent studies using human data have linked BPA to heart disease and diabetes. And it has been found to interfere with the effects of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients."

Many bloggers are upset and spreading the word about the attempt to block the ban. Some states/cities (Minnesota, Chicago, Suffolk County NY) as well as other countries such as Japan and Canada have already banned certain uses of BPA. After reading the article, I ran across a few good blog posts about it:

Take a few minutes to read these blog posts, as well as the Washington Post article - there are plenty of links in each to jump off and read more. It is an interesting debate and one that affects the households of parents, soon to be parents, as well as others concerned about the possible health risks associated with plastics, chemicals, etc. Feel free to post your thoughts and comments. Thanks for reading!

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