FDA Ban Goes Into Effect Today
Starting today, the hormone-disrupting chemical BPA will no longer be used in the USA to manufacture our children’s favorite items -- baby bottles and sippy cups. Many companies had phased the plastic-hardening chemical out of their manufacturing process already, but now all others must do do.
What’s with BPA?
BPA has been used in plastic manufacturing since the 1950s. It can be found in plastic water bottles, the lining of canned goods, dental sealants, toys and plastic packaging for food, as well as baby bottles and sippy cups.
Within the last decade, studies have shown that BPA has the potential to have numerous ill effects on humans, ranging from neurological issues to problems with reproductive health. Ninety percent of people have been found to secrete BPA in their urine, and pregnant moms have been found to have an even higher concentration of the chemical. It may also have carcinogenic effects.
Falling out of favor
As awareness of the chemical’s harmful side effects became known, more and more companies have been shying away from its use and proclaiming that their products are BPA free. Many families tossed out any and all plastic, preferring to breastfeed, use glass baby bottles and stainless steel sippy cups.
“The problem is, BPA is also a synthetic estrogen, and plastics with BPA can break down, especially when they're washed, heated or stressed, allowing the chemical to leach into food and water and then enter the human body,” writes Brian Walsh in TIME Magazine. “That happens to nearly all of us; the CDC has found BPA in the urine of 93% of surveyed Americans over the age of 6. If you don't have BPA in your body, you're not living in the modern world.”
In 2010, Canada declared BPA to be a toxic chemical, and both Canada and the European Union forbid its use in baby bottles.
The FDA states that BPA remains safe for food and beverage packaging, claiming that the studies that have been made with mice may not translate into humans, but it’s a step in the right direction to keep as many chemicals away from the bodies of our smallest people.