Bisphenol A and Your Baby

December 17, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Baby Eco Trends @ 5:06 pm

Recently, bisphenol A (BPA) has been making headlines and for very good reason. BPA is a major component in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, used in the production of plastic baby bottles, sippy cups, food and beverage containers, the lining of canned foods, plastic dinnerware and some dental sealants. BPA is an endocrine disruptor, imitating the naturally occurring hormone estrogen. BPA can duplicate, block or exaggerate hormonal responses that control development of the brain and the reproductive system.

The BPA industry group, www.bisphenol-a.org, insists that polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins make life “healthier and safer.” This is a claim that many refute. An expert scientific panel, led by University of Missouri biologist Frederick vom Saal, has found that BPA leaches into plastic bottles and canned foods at unsafe levels. This poses significant health hazards to babies and pregnant women. Research shows that BPA exposure in the perinatal stage (5 months before and 1 month after birth) results in changes to the male and female genital tract and mammary glands that may predispose tissue to earlier onset of disease, reduced fertility and mammary and prostate cancer in lab animals.

In April 2008, after reviewing 150studies, Canada decided to ban the use of BPA in baby bottles and continue testing of other products. Canada became the first country to ban BPA in baby bottles and the Health Minister, Tony Clements, explained why, “We have immediately taken action on BPA because we believe it is our responsibility to ensure families, Canadians and our environment are not exposed to a potentially harmful chemical.”

The September 17, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that researchers found a significant relationship between BPA and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities. Adults with the highest BPA levels in their urine were more than twice as likely to have heart disease or diabetes than those with the lowest levels, according to the study of more than 1,450 people.

Just days before the Canadian ban of BPA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assigned a task force to review the body of research on BPA’s effects on our health. Until BPA is banned from baby bottles and other plastics in the United States, consumers must exercise vigilance and minimize exposure by seeking safe alternatives. If you have young children, start by replacing baby bottles, sippy cups, and dinnerware with BPA free items.

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