Effective today European Union ban bisphenol-A in plastic baby bottles

While the EU has banned the presence of  bisphenol-A in baby bottles (effective today), the FDA has not taken such a step. There was a joint Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) expert meeting in November 2010 to review the toxicology and heath effects of Bisphenol-A (BPA).  This group proposed a safety assessment,

“In the light of these uncertainties about the possibility of adverse human health effects at low doses of BPA, especially on reproduction, the nervous system and on behavioural development, and considering the relatively higher exposure of very young children compared with adults, FAO and WHO will jointly organize an ad hoc expert meeting to assess the safety of BPA. Possible alternatives for BPA will also be considered and available information regarding uses and possible health concern will be summarized”

However, the EU published a directive in January banning the substance.

BPA is used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastic, the resin lining of cans, and other products; can be released from the plastics and resins by exposure to heat or acidic contents. According to scientists Frederick S. vom Saal and Claude Hughes, in a 2005 article in Environmental Health Perspectives, BPA has the following effects,

“Rate of growth and sexual maturation, hormone levels in blood, reproductive organ function, fertility, immune function, enzyme activity, brain structure, brain chemistry, and behavior are all affected by exposure to low doses of BPA.”

The authors also note that 95% of Americans tested had measurable amounts of BPA in their urine.  Until FDA acts, it is up to each of us, particularly women of child-bearing age, to consider ways of limiting exposure to BPA such as curtailing or limiting use of products in cans and plastic bottles.

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