FDA Changes Its Stance on Plastics Chemical BPA
If any of you have been following the BPA (Bisphenol A) discussions going on in the news, you might be interested in a recent announcement by the FDA. In a departure from its previous stance that BPA poses no health risks, the agency is now saying parents should try and minimize infants' exposure to the chemical.
Here's a little background on BPA:
- In 2007, a National Institutes of Health panel determined that there was "some concern" about BPA's effects on fetal and infant brain development and behavior. A 2008 report by the National Toxicology Program agreed with the panel's findings. Subsequent animal studies found that BPA can have adverse effects on the nervous system, thyroid function, the reproductive system, and can lead to some types of cancer.
- The first results from human studies were published in 2008. Researchers found that higher BPA levels were strongly associated with heart disease, diabetes, and abnormally high levels of certain liver enzymes. A later similar study performed by the same group of scientists was published in January 2010. It confirmed, despite lower concentrations of BPA in the second study sample, an increased risk for heart disease but not for diabetes or liver enzymes.
There hasn't been an official federal policy on BPA in the US, but a number of retailers and local governments have taken action. Toys 'R' Us and Wal-Mart both announced that they would remove all baby bottles containing BPA from their inventories. In May 2009, Minnesota and Chicago became some of the first jurisdictions to pass legislation banning the chemical. The next month, Connecticut became the first state to ban Bisphenol A from infant formula and baby food containers, as well from any reusable food or beverage container.
As more information becomes available on BPA's side effects, it will be interesting to see how the federal government responds. We can only hope that officials will do what's necessary to protect consumers' safety. If you'd like more information, including how to help protect your children from exposure, you can check out this BPA news article on our firm's website.