Congress To Consider BPA Ban

Finally, House and Senate lawmakers are considering two bills to ban use of the ubiquitous, estrogenic chemical that has been used as a plastic hardener for decades. <"">Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic estrogen found in a variety of plastic containers, including baby bottles; toys and sippy cups; and many, many other consumer products.

Many health advocates support the legislation, including Dr. Jennifer Lowry, with Children’s Mercy Hospital, who says while human studies are limited, data from animal studies finds that BPA can cause health problems for children.
”Animal studies have shown some hyperactive behavior, learning disorders, endocrine disorders such as obesity, diabetes and some cancers of the breast, the prostate and uterus.” Also, said Dr. Lowry, research shows the toxin leaches from containers when exposed to extreme cold or hot temperatures, then enters a person’s system in the food or beverage. “If we’re taking a baby bottle and we’re putting water in it, putting it in the microwave and heating it up, then, over time, that bottle will release the BPAs that are in it.”

Recently, we wrote that BPA was banned in Schenectady County in upstate New York. A similar measure was also recently passed by Albany County legislators that takes effect January 1 and contains identical penalties to those in Schenectady County, said the Times Union, earlier this month.

BPA is banned in Connecticut, Minnesota, Chicago, and New York’s Suffolk County. Wisconsin recently became the third state to introduce a bill to ban BPA-containing baby bottle and sippy cup sales for children and California voted on a similar bill that is in the Assembly. Key members in the U.S. House and Senate introduced legislation for a federal ban on BPA in all food and beverage containers, and 24 states have bills in the works to restrict the toxin; Canada was the first country to announce plans to ban BPA, calling it a toxin, and newly appointed U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, said the agency is reconsidering its decision that BPA is safe at current levels, especially those found in baby bottles, a decision for which the agency has faced fierce criticism.

Recently we wrote that an emerging study found links between BPA and adverse health effects. Environmental Health News wrote that menopausal women tend to be likelier to suffer BPA-related health effects, such as inflammation and oxidative stress over women who are still menstruating and men. Just prior to that announcement, we wrote that another study found that BPA might “impair” female reproductive cell growth and function, according to the University of Illinois. Two months ago we wrote that research conducted by the North Carolina State University and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), found BPA to significantly affect reproductive health at levels that are either the same or even lower that those believed not to cause adverse effects, citing Science Daily.

BPA has been connected to a wide variety of adverse effects, namely: Increased risks of brain, reproductive, cardiac, and immune system diseases and disorders; problems with liver function testing; interruptions in chemotherapy treatment; links with serious health problems based on over 200 studies which found it to have negative effects at doses lower than the FDA’s current standards; retention in the body longer than was previously believed; leeching into liquids being held in containers regardless of whether the containers are or are not heated; and longer lasting damage, which can also be passed to future generations.

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