I’m struck by how many signs on the shelves advertise BPA-free bottles, BPA-free sippy cups. It breaks my heart. Manufacturers might be removing BPA, a chemical used to harden certain plastics, from their products, but they are substituting chemicals that may be just as dangerous, if not more so. Read more…
What you need to know:
Bisphenol-A is a chemical compound used as a building block of several polymers and polycarbonates that in turn are found in plastic bottles and cans. Which means all of us are exposed to tiny amounts, whether drinking canned juice, milk from a baby-bottle, or any other product sold in a plastic container or a can.
The chemical has been sold since the 1940’s and starting in the 1960’s has been lining the insides of cans in order to extend shelf life. BPA behaves like the hormone estrogen once it enters the body and disturbs the normal working of certain genes. Estrogen mimicking chemicals like BPA are potentially harmful even at very low doses, such as those found in plastic bottles and cans.
Toxicity questions have been around for decades, raising safety issue, especially for babies who ingest a proportionally larger amount due to their small size. Potential problems include hyperactivity, learning disabilities, brain damage, and immune deficiencies.
In recent years, more and more companies are removing BPA from their products. The problem is that some of the alternatives are not necessarily safe:
Consider the thermal paper that comes out of cash registers. Its BPA passes through the skin into the bodies of anyone who works at check-out counters, as well as their customers. Appleton, a specialty paper company, markets a BPA-free thermal paper that uses Bisphenol S [BPS] instead.
In … limited tests conducted outside the United States, BPS shows estrogenic activity — not as strong as BPA, but not a good sign. BPS is now used in the United States to make PES (polyethersulfone) plastic. Some baby bottles marketed as BPA-free use PES plastic.
Just wonderful. The article goes on with another example before hitting the nail on the head – In the US, our regulatory system doesn’t require proof that a chemical is safe for it to be admitted in to products. Only after it has been used on us, human guinea pigs, for several years, and only IF enough people start to get sick, do companies test for toxicity.
Why not have chemical companies prove the safety of their products before our kids get sick?
You know the answer…