Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Baby Poison: Bisphenol A - Hazards and Possibilities

Another study has surfaced regarding the possible hazard of a chemical known as Bisphenol A or BPA.

This time, a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that there is a statistical possibility that BPA is linked to increased rates of heart disease and diabetes.

While the report has gained critics for not being definitive enough, its important to realize that in scientific studies "statistical possibility" of a high enough magnitude is the strongest conclusive evidence that can be found.

It seems to me that while more studies are definitely needed, it seems clear that enough action is being taken to warrant a serious look at what is in your plastics. My wife and I have been staying away from plastic containers that contain BPA for months now. In fact she just sent me this link for a great stainless-steel travel mug that would make a great birthday present :).

While in the US, the FDA has stated that there are no cause for concerns and the European Union also doesn't consider BPA a threat, in April the Canadian government proposed a ban on materials containing BPA making it the first country in the world to do so. Its decision came after study of animal test results (that proved BPA causes diseases in animals) and discussion with experts.

If you're a health nut, you may be one of the people who had bought Nalgene bottles to keep yourself hydrated... it became the hip thing for a while. While the Nalgene site states they believe there is no cause for alarm if using their bottles which contain BPA, they have taken the opportunity to switch to BPA-free materials because of consumer demand.

Also, one of the risks mentioned in the Canadian reports is the boiling of plastic baby bottles, as the high temperature could cause the disease causing chemicals to leach out and into the milk.

Is there a controversy? Of course there is. The makers of the chemicals say its safe, but a growing number of reports say otherwise. I don't like acting primarily on "conspiracy theorist" instincts but I think the evidence in animal trials makes it a wise decision to try and reduce the amount of products in your home that contain Bisphenol-A.


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