In the letters sent on Friday, the attorney generals from Connecticut, New Jersey and Delaware asked 11 companies to stop using Bisphenol-A (BPA) in their baby bottles and other infant products, as the chemical could pose serious health risks.
While the FDA has previously indicated that the level of BPA in baby bottles is safe, many have questioned this conclusion.
A growing number of experts suggest that human exposure to the chemical found in hundreds of hard plastic products could damage young children’s neurological, reproductive and immune systems.
The letters were sent to various manufacturers of baby products, such as Avent America Inc., Gerber, Disney First Years, Playtex Products Inc., Handicraft Co., and Evenflo Co., and formula makers Mead Johnson, PBM products, Nature’s One, Abbott and Wyeth.
“I am alarmed by recent studies confirming that BPA leaches from these products into the foods they hold,” wrote Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in the letters.
The 11 manufacturers were asked to voluntarily stop using the potentially harmful plastic bottle chemical, since the FDA has so far refused to ban BPA in spite of the growing scientific evidence of its toxicity.
Bisphenol-A, or BPA, is added to lightweight plastic products like baby bottles, sippers and reusable food and drink containers to help make the hard plastic unbreakable.
In a final report released lasts month by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, government officials indicated that they have “some concern” that the plastic chemical may cause problems with development and health. They called for further investigations and testing of BPA in human studies.
Two other independent studies published in September raised concerns about the safety trace amounts of the chemical found in plastic products pose to humans. One study published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences indicated that the BPA chemical can alter brain function and bring about mood disorders in monkeys. Another study released by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) linked exposure to BPA to an increased risk of diabetes, heart diseese and liver problems in humans.
Many manufacturers of baby products have already agreed to stop using BPA, and several large retailers like Wal-Mart and Toys “R” Us have pulled any plastic baby bottles with BPA off of their shelves.
In June 2008, a BPA class action lawsuit was filed against the largest makers of plastic baby bottles and children’s products, including Evenflo Co., Avent America Inc., Handicraft Co., Playtex and Gerber Novartis. The BPA lawsuit alleges that the manufacturers failed to adequately disclose risks associated with BPA.