A BPA Follow Up

Tracey Barnett © May 2010

For those of you who read a column I wrote a few months ago on BPA, a chemical found in sports and baby bottles, tin cans, dental sealants and many plastics, often [but not always] with the number 7 imprinted on the bottom, here’s a quick follow up.

You may recall this is the hormone-disrupting stuff that some scientists believe is linked to an ugly laundry list of cancers, diabetes, obesity, attention deficit, early puberty and skewed reproductive health. This little issue isn’t going away. Indeed, it’s growing.

In January, after three years of study, the US Food and Drug Administration is now officially voicing “some concern”. That statement out of the huge lumbering US agency, is the health equivalent of turning around an ocean liner. They have committed $30 million for more study.

Now this past month, even the US Environmental Protection Agency will start looking into the impact of BPA on the water supply and the environment after individual cities and states are taking their own initiative to act faster. BPA bottles have now been banned in Chicago, Minnesota, Washington State, Connecticut and pending in California.

What has changed in this country? In reality, nothing. Plunket doesn’t offer advice to new Mums on baby bottles or sippy cups containing BPA, even though they’re now outlawed in Canada and Denmark. If new Mums even know to ask, they are referred to NZFSA’s unchanged guidelines that are waiting patiently for the US’s or the EU’s move. It might be 2-3 years before we see our officials make a move here. As I have one foot in both countries, it has been frustrating to see so much consumer awareness in North America and so little press generated here.

If you know new parents who have never heard of the potential concerns over BPA, tell them. Give them the information so they can choose whether they want to ere on the side of caution. If you want to be more proactive than our officials, ask your retailer to stop stocking BPA products. That’s the best Mother’s Day present you can offer. Our babies can’t wait.

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