Leaping ahead of the United States, China has banned bisphenol A (BPA)—an estrogen-mimicking chemical suspected of causing cancer, early puberty and brain alteration—from children’s products, Sarah Jannsen reports on the National Resources Defense Council site. The Chinese Ministry of Health has decided that BPA leaching from baby bottles presents a risk to infants’ health, Jannsen reports. The action comes on the heels of bans in Europe, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.
“While other countries have banned use because there is no strong evidence that this chemical is safe and plenty of reason to think it is harmful, the U.S. stubbornly refuses to regulate BPA,” Janssen writes.
The FDA has not addressed the chemical, and its proposal to list BPA as a “chemical of concern” has stalled in the White House Office of Management and Budget. Nine states have passed laws regulating the use of BPA, putting states that have not enacted bans “at risk for becoming the dumping grounds for all the banned BPA products from elsewhere,” Jannsen warns. “Our lax chemical regulatory laws and the lack of political to fix them will means that we run the risk of becoming the toxic dumping ground for all the products which have been banned in other countries.”
It’s up to us to keep ourselves and our families free of BPA. Check out Dr. Linda White’s excellent guide to safer plastics and Natural Home’s Five Steps to Avoiding BPA. The NRDC’s recommendations for avoiding exposure include:
--Limit your canned food consumption by eating fresh or frozen produce and buying processed food in 'brick' cartons, pouches or glass.
--Limit your canned soda and beer consumption. Choose glass instead.
--Avoid baby bottles and sippy cups made of polycarbonate (hard, clear, shatterproof) plastic. They are marked with the recycling symbol #7, and sometimes labeled 'PC.' (Not all #7 plastics are polycarbonates; the only way to know is to call the manufacturer.)
--Use a BPA-free reusable water bottle, such as an unlined stainless steel bottle.
Limit your canned food consumption to avoid BPA.