A federal lawsuit was filed earlier this month against five companies who manufacture and sell baby bottles that contain the chemical bisphenol A, also known as BPA. The lawsuit, which seeks class action status, alleges that the manufacturers were aware that the chemical could pose a serious health risk to infants and children by leaking from the plastic of baby bottles and sippy cups.
Bisphenol A is a chemical that is used in a number of products to make plastic hard and shatterproof. However, an April 2008 report from the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Toxicology Program indicated that even small amounts of the chemical could pose a risk, especially for fetuses, infants and children. The chemical was linked to health and developmental problems, including early puberty, changes in the prostate gland and behavioral changes.
Since the report was released in April, there have been a variety of different opinions regarding the safety of BPA and whether safer alternative sources to BPA are available. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has defended the safety of the baby bottle chemical, but several consumer groups and U.S. Senators have called for a ban on the use of bisphenol A in baby bottles and children’s sippy cups.
The baby bottle class action lawsuit names some of the largest makers of children’s products, including Evenflo Co., Avent America Inc., Handicraft Co., Playtex and Gerber Novartis. The lawsuit alleges that they failed to adequately disclose the risks associated with BPA.