Federal Official says to Avoid BPA

Federal Official says to Avoid BPA

A high-level federal health official warns Americans not to be exposed to a ubiquitous chemical, found in many plastics, baby products, bottles, canned foods and more.

Daily Green | Dan Shapley | The Food and Drug Administration was to have ruled Monday whether Bisphenol A is safe for continued use in food packaging and other food-related products, including some water bottles, baby bottles and an array of food packaging. But one key federal official has already reached a decision, according to another in a series of revelations about the controversial chemical in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"It's simple enough to avoid," Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program, told paper in an exclusive interview. "So, why not avoid a problem?"

Bisphenol A was first developed as a synthetic estrogen before industry discovered a wide range of uses for the chemical. It's been used to make certain plastics hard, to coat paper, to line cans of food and drink, and for a number of other uses. You rarely, if ever, see it on an ingredient list, though. So even though Birnbaum implies it's easy to avoid, that's not the case.

Exposure to the chemical has been linked to a long list of health problems -- everything from obesity to breast cancer -- based on laboratory studies.

Since concerns have been magnified about the chemical over the past couple years, several baby bottle manufacturers have stopped using Bisphenol A, and Sunoco, a major manufacturer of the chemical, has stopped selling it for use in baby bottles. Canada has restricted its use in children's products. Though several states have proposed bans on the chemical in certain consumer products, like baby items, the chemical remains in wide use, in great part because the FDA has, to date, endorsed it as "safe." (Sunday, the senators from New York proposed a federal ban on BPA in children's products.)

That could change. Stay tuned to find out what the FDA decides. Meanwhile, we turn to the research at ZRecs for a look at just how hard it is to figure out which products you're supposed to avoid, if you're trying to avoid Bisphenol A. ZRecs focuses on safe children's products (though there are many adult products listed here, too, like water bottles). They don't get into the total risk of exposure for a typical American, especially considering that the lining of cans (according to Consumer Reports, 19 canned foods -- every single can tested -- contained measurable levels of BPA), as well as the coating on many sales receipts can leach the chemical to our hands and food. Nonetheless, this list can help you avoid some of the products that contain BPA.

Products with BPA

According to ZRecs

• Certain baby and toddler foods and formulas, including some made by Baby's Only Organic, Beech Nut, Bright Beginnings, Earth's Best, Enfamil, Gerber, Nestle Good Start and Similac.

• Certain baby bottles, including some made by Avent, Dr. Brown's, Evenflo, Gerber, Innobaby, Luvable Friends, Munchkin, Nuby (Luv n' Care), Playskool, Playtex, Second Nature, The First Years (Learning Curve).

• Certain pacifiers, including some made by Gerber, MAM, Munchkin, Nuby (Luv n' Care) and RaZbaby.

• Certain bath toys, including some made by Kel-Gar, Inc. and Sassy.

• Certain breastfeeding aids, including some made by Ameda, Dr. Brown's, Evenflo, and Playtex.

• Certain formula feeding aids and transition feeders, including some made by Dr. Brown's and Nuby (Luv n' Care).

• Certain cups, water bottles and water dispensers, including some made by Gaiam, iSi, Nathan, Rubbermaid, Tupperware and Zak! Designs.

• Certain pitchers, including some made by Tupperware.

• Certain food prep tools, like food processors, including some made by Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Rubbermaid.

• Certain food storage containers and snacking aids, including some made by Innobaby, Rubbermaid and Tupperware.

• Certain sippy cups and straw cups, including some made by Evenflo, Nuby (Luv 'n Care), Playskool, Playtex, Sassy, Second Nature and Zak! Designs.

• Certain tableware and utensils, including some made by Baby Dipper, Evenflo, IKEA, Munchkin, Nuby (Luv n' Care), Sassy, Tupperware.

For more information about Bisphenol A and the other ubiquitous hormone-disrupting chemical of the moment, phthalates, see The Daily Green's How to Avoid Bisphenol A and Phthalates.

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