FDA Declares BPA a Health Risk


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is changing its tune on BPA. In 2008, the FDA released a statement declaring BPA safe for use in consumer products, even for infants and children, but last month the agency reversed that, saying it has concerns about how BPA affects infants’ and children’s health.

baby drinking from bottle
The FDA has concerns about how bisphenol A, or BPA, affects infants' and children's health. BPA can be found in some baby bottles and sippy cups. Photo By Genta Masuda/Courtesy Flickr. 

Unfortunately, most of us come into contact with BPA every day. The building block of many plastics, BPA, or Bisphenol A, has been used since the 1950s in various consumer products. It’s been used in some in water bottles, dishware, baby bottles and sippy cups, and it makes the resins that line food and beverage cans and jar lids. Studies have shown that as these plastics age, are heated or used with certain acidic or alkali liquids (including certain vegetables, fruits and detergents), BPA can leach. Studies have also shown that BPA can affect reproduction, development, metabolism and behavior in children.

While the FDA has concerns about BPA, it isn’t regulating this industrial chemical quite yet. Before the FDA takes drastic measures, the agency, along with the National Toxicology Program, plans to carry out in-depth studies to determine its health risks. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has agreed to help by pledging $30 million to fund the BPA research.