Monday, April 09, 2007

Plastic Baby Bottles May be Harmful

Oh, isn't this just wonderful...

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Glass baby bottles, replaced decades ago by unbreakable plastic, are making such a comeback that parents can't get their hands on them.

Online and brick-and-mortar retailers report a run on glass baby bottles in recent weeks that they say was spurred by reports that the most common type of plastic in baby bottles may leach a toxic chemical. [snip]

Independent tests done for The Chronicle and reported in November found bisphenol A, a chemical that mimics estrogen, in a baby bottle and several toys. Bisphenol A is also found in the lining of food cans, some anti-cavity sealants for teeth, and electronics.

Then, in late February, Environment California, an advocacy group, released a report titled "Toxic Baby Bottles" that drew intense national media coverage.

When heated, five of the most popular brands of polycarbonate -- the clear, shatterproof plastic used in baby bottles -- leached bisphenol A at levels that have been found to cause harm in laboratory animals, Environment California found.

Even at low levels, bisphenol A has been linked to abnormalities in the mammary and prostate glands and the eggs of laboratory animals, scientists say. Animal tests also show bisphenol A can speed up puberty and add to weight gain, and may cause changes that can lead to breast and prostate cancer. [snip]
Gee,this might explain why kids are going through puberty and earlier ages, don't you think? This might be contributing to with the child obesity problem, don't you think?
Well let's see what the industry has to say...

Makers of polycarbonate bottles and industry representatives say parents have been alarmed unnecessarily about a product that meets federal standards and has been in widespread use for more than 25 years. And some questioned using glass bottles.

"I think parents are arguably being misled into buying products that may not be as safe," said Steve Hentges, a spokesman for the American Chemistry Council, which represents manufacturers of bisphenol A -- sometimes known as BPA -- and other chemicals.

It's irrefutable that glass can shatter, Hentges said. But there is "no scientific basis to conclude that BPA is something to be concerned about ... at the extremely low levels that people might be exposed to from use of consumer products."
Of course, there is nothing to worry about...