Bye, Bye BPA

Bye, Bye BPA

There's a reason Minnesota is called Canada-South. When Canadian officials banned the sale and use of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in baby bottles last year, and listed the chemical as a toxic health risk,  many folks expected the United States to follow suit eventually. It's not the U.S.  government, though, that has taken up the mantle of protecting public health. Instead, its Canada's southern cousins – the State of Minnesota and the City of Chicago – which have stepped up to do the right thing. (Stories here and here) Last week, Minnesota's governor Tim Pawlenty signed legislation restricting the sale of children's drinking products made with BPA. This week, the Chicago City Council passed the nation’s first municipal ban on the sale of baby bottles and cups that contain the chemical. What's all the fuss about? Well, studies of BPA's effects in humans are incomplete but there is a growing body of evidence that BPA is harmful in some cases, especially in children and pregnant women. Animal studies have shown that BPA can change some normal functions of the body. Babies and children seem to be at most risk, since their bodies are growing and changing so quickly. The widespread use of BPA is also a concern: Studies have found that more than 90% of people tested had BPA in their urine, which means it was in their bodies. BPA can also be found in human breast milk. The new bans in Minnesota and Chicago follow voluntary changes launched by many in the outdoor industry. Nalge Nunc, leading maker of waterbottles for outdoor recreationists, pulled BPA out of their Nalgene waterbottles last year, after REI yanked all BPA-containing bottles off their shelves. Other bottle makers have followed suit, changing over to other non-BPA plastics for the bottles. Read more about BPA-free bottles here.
%d bloggers like this: