In November, Mothering’s article “Out of the Mouths of Babes” told you about teethers, sippy cups, bibs, and other seemingly innocuous plastic baby items containing chemicals that may harm your child’s health. Among these chemicals is bisphenol-a. The Canadian government is planning an announcement on Friday to declare bisphenol-a, also known as BPA, a toxic chemical.
Widely used to produce plastic polycarbonate food and water containers, some products containing bisphenol are already being removed from shelves by leading Canadian retailers, citing possible health risks. Canada also intends to ban the import and sale of baby bottles made of plastic polycarbonate. Evidence links the chemical to neurological and behavioural problems in babies and could be tied to early puberty, some cancers, diabetes, and obesity.
Environmental groups are adamant that BPA is a dangerous chemical, while the industry says its use in plastic products is safe and claim that media reports about toxic toys are sensational and serve only to frighten parents. Yet, more than 150 government-funded studies have shown health effects in animals at extremely low doses of BPA—sometimes 2,000 times lower than the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) safe levels.
“Out of the Mouths of Babes” Mothering Issue 145 – November/December 2007