Canada first to ban use of BPA in baby bottles

20 October 2008 11:34  [Source: ICIS news]

Canada bans BPA use in baby bottlesLONDON (ICIS news)--Canada has banned the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles after a report by the departments of health and the environment classified the chemical as toxic, the government said over the weekend.

 

Reports have linked exposure to BPA with health problems and reproductive defects, including birth defects in boys, heart disease in adults and lower sperm counts and breast cancer in animal testing.

 

Canada's assessment found that the main sources of exposure for newborns and infants was through the use of polycarbonate (PC) baby bottles, as when exposed to high temperatures the BPA is released into the infant formula, it said.

 

“Many Canadians... have expressed their concern to me about the risks of bisphenol A in baby bottles,” said Canada's environment minister John Baird.

 

“Today's confirmation of our ban on BPA in baby bottles proves that our government did the right thing in taking action to protect the health and environment for all Canadians,” he added.

 

The Canadian government said it would also take further measures to limit the amount of BPA being released into the environment.

 

Environment Canada scientists found that BPA was entering the environment through wastewater, washing residues and leachate from landfills, potentially harming fish and other organisms.

 

“BPA is acutely toxic to aquatic organisms and has been shown to adversely affect growth and development in both aquatic and terrestrial species,” the report said.

 

The government allocated an additional Canadian dollar (C$)1.7m ($1.4m) over the next three years to fund research projects into the chemical.

 

The decision makes Canada the first country to label the chemical as hazardous, as many groups in the US and Europe push for governments to follow suit.

 

Last week a US Congressional committee requested an interview with a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner to discuss how the health agency decided that BPA was safe.

 

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has called the fears unfounded, saying the amount of BPA most people ingest is too small to be detrimental.

 

The trade group helped kill an effort by the California legislature to ban the use of the chemical in products for infants.

 

($1 = C$1.18)

 

For more on BPA and PC visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Mark Watts
+44 20 8652 3214



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