The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) just announced that it has revised its rules on how BPA (bisphenol A) will be regulated in baby bottles and sippy cups. The move confirms to consumers that BPA is no longer, and will no longer be, used in these products; the American Chemistry Council (ACC) made the request for the rule revision October 2011.
“Although governments around the world continue to support the safety of BPA in food contact materials, confusion about whether BPA is used in baby bottles and sippy cups had become an unnecessary distraction to consumers, legislators, and state regulators,” said Steven G. Hentges, Ph.D., of the Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group of ACC. “FDA action on this request now provides certainty that BPA is not used to make the baby bottles and sippy cups on store shelves, either today or in the future.”
The FDA is currently reviewing a petition submitted in March to reverse its approval of BPA in formula containers.
Some years ago, manufacturers of baby bottles and sippy cups announced that they stopped using BPA in these products; however, according to the ACC’s statement, state legislative and regulatory actions nationwide contributed to confusion about if baby bottles and sippy cups sold in the United States contain BPA. According to the group, BPA is among the most thoroughly tested chemicals in commerce today and government agencies globally have deemed BPA safe for use in food-contact materials, including those for infants and toddlers.
Many disagree about the ubiquitous plastics chemical described by experts as being an estrogenic mimicker and hormone disrupter. A combination of phenol and acetone, BPA leeches from food and beverage containers into foods, yet is FDA-approved for use in shatter-resistant polycarbonate plastic and durable epoxy resins used in food and beverage container linings.
BPA leaches into products—hot or cold—and into the skin, from common items such as paper money, toilet paper, and receipts. Working as an anti-androgen, BPA blocks hormone activity; mimics the powerful female hormone, estrogen; and can interrupt sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children.
The studies on which we have written—and hundreds have been conducted—have linked BPA to a wide and growing array of health effects that seem to affect nearly every bodily system. BPA has been linked to brain tumors and some hormone-sensitive cancers, including breast and prostate cancer. One study suggests that BPA side effects—specifically on brain and social behaviors—are immediate, long lasting, and trans-generational, which means these effects could carry many years into the future. BPA has also been linked to cardiac issues and fat cell confusion and pancreatic issues that relate to diabetes. Studies have linked BPA to increased anxiety and depression, brain cell connection interference and interruptions in chemotherapy treatment, increased risks of immune system diseases and disorders, and liver function testing and intestinal problems.
BPA’s links to reproductive system diseases are dramatic and span to fetal development, likely due to its hormone-mimicking and -blocking properties. Issues include effects on uterine health and mammalian reproduction; a deadly uterine infection; premature puberty; Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and other female fertility and endocrine issues; and erectile dysfunction and male sexual problems.