Health Canada's decision last Friday (April 18) to possibly ban polycarbonate plastic baby bottles because of bisphenol A's (BPA) safety issues drove a flurry of announcements from consumer product manufacturers to phase out the use of BPA-contained plastic baby products and for retailers to remove some of the said products from retail shelves.
Wal-Mart Canada said it will immediately stop the sale of select baby bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, food containers and water bottles containing BPA. Other Canadian retailers such as Hudson's Bay Company, Canadian Tire, the Forzani Group Ltd., Sears Canada, Rexall Pharmacies, and Home Depot Canada will also stop selling BPA-contained plastic products, the eco-group Environmental Defence stated on its recent press release.
In the US, plastic products manufacturer Nalgene, based in Rochester, NY, also announced the phaseout of BPA from its products, while multinational company Playtex said it will stop using BPA in all of its products this year.
“While US and worldwide regulatory bodies continue to deem the ingredient safe, we are listening to consumer concerns and we believe the right thing to do is eliminate any confusion or doubt that parents may have." - Playtex vp and general manager Gary CohenHealth Canada acknowledged that newborn and infant exposure to BPA is low based on scientific studies but stated that the gap between exposure and BPA effects are not large enough. Environment Canada scientists also stated possible environmental impacts from low level BPA exposures.
In the US, the plastic and chemical industry are doing some damage control by assuring consumers on BPA's safety with scientific studies.
A draft released last week by the National Toxicology Program confirmed that BPA had no serious adverse effects on human reproduction and development, according to the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association said. The American Chemistry Council is calling the FDA to update its review of BPA in food applications to help better inform the public.