More Research Funding Approved as Growing Health Concerns Continue for Common Plastic Chemical, BPA
The Department of Health and Human Services issued recommendations to consumers last week, including one to throw away scratched cups and bottles with Bisphenol A because small amounts of the chemical can seep out and be ingested by children.
Acknowledging there is "some concern” that a chemical found in baby bottles and infant sipping cups could cause adverse health effects in children, health officials pledged to study the chemical far more closely but said there was not enough evidence to further regulate it.
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is added to many plastics and liners of canned goods, including liquid baby formula. Studies in laboratory animals suggest the chemical might increase the risk of developmental problems in some fetuses and young children, along with other ill effects.
"Recent reports show subtle effects of BPA in lab animals that has raised concerns,” William Corr, deputy secretary of Health and Human Services, said in a telephone press conference. His agency will spend $30 million to study the chemical’s effect on young children. "We are taking a much closer look,” he said.
The FDA had long declared BPA safe for adults and children. Now, according to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, BPA is of "some concern” for infants and children.
Massachusetts Congressman Edward J. Markey, lead author of a bill to ban BPA in all food and beverage containers, said the announcement was important for keeping young children safe.
Many manufacturers have voluntarily replaced BPA in products ranging from baby bottles to drinking water containers – and some stores such as Wal-Mart and CVS have agreed to discontinue carrying some children’s items made with BPA.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts public health officials have warned parents of young children to avoid storing infant formula or breast milk in plastic bottles containing bisphenol A – and urged pregnant or breast-feeding women to avoid the common chemical in other food and drink containers.
Some states have gone further, such as Connecticut, which banned the chemical from infant formula and baby food cans and jars, and reusable food and beverage containers sold in the state.
The Consumers Union recommends the following in order to reduce consumption of BPA: Choose fresh food whenever possible; consider alternatives to canned food, beverages, juices and infant formula; and use glass containers when heating food in the microwave.
Healthy Choice Naturals
- Toxic Plastics Chemical (BPA) Found in Several Common Brand Name Foods
- 8 Health Risk Factors You Face Every Day but Shouldn’t
- Is it Really Safe to Microwave Food in Plastic Containers?
- Fish Oil and Pregnancy
- Microwaving Safety – Why You May Want to Rethink the Way you Heat
- Third Hand Smoke – The Newest Smoking Hazard