In response to health concerns over the use of Biphenol A (BPA) in plastic consumer products, six of the largest manufacturers baby bottles have agreed to stop using the chemical in their products sold in United States.
Biphenol A, which is commonly referred to as BPA, is used in a variety of plastic consumer products, like sports bottles, infant feeding bottles, soda cans and food containers. The chemical is used to make the plastic hard and shatterproof, but there are substitutes available that do not carry the same potential long-term risks.
Concerns over toxic baby bottles have grown over the past year, as studies have suggested that low doses of BPA can be absorbed by the body over a long period of time, potentially resulting in developmental and health problems in fetuses, infants and children.
Although there has been a ban on BPA baby bottles in Canada due to the potential risk they pose to children, the FDA has taken the controversial position that the amounts of the chemical used in consumer products are too small to be toxic.
In October 2008, an independent panel of advisors to the FDA concluded that the agency’s position was flawed, indicating that it does not consider all available and credible scientific evidence. As a result, in December 2008, the FDA agreed to re-evaluate its research on Bisphenol A and determine whether additional studies are need to look into the safety of the chemical. However, they have given no indication that they intend to ban use of the chemical.
The attorney generals of several states sent letters to eleven manufacturers of baby products in October 2008, calling on them to voluntarily agree not to sell the toxic infant bottles despite the FDA’s current position.
As of March 6, 2009, Evenflo, Avent, Gerber, Disney First Years, Platex and Dr. Brown have agreed to stop selling toxic infant bottles with BPA. Large retailers like Babies R’ Us and Wal-Mart have also indicated that they will not carry any BPA baby bottles.
A toxic baby bottle class action lawsuit was filed in June 2008 against these same manufacturers, alleging that they have failed to issue adequate warnings or information about the risks associated with BPA.