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March 19, 2009

Baby Bottle Makers Ditch BPA




Miranda Hitti

March 10, 2009 — The top six makers of baby bottles in the U.S. have agreed to stop using the polycarbonate plastic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in their bottles.
Connecticut's Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced that news yesterday.
The six bottle makers who agreed to stop using BPA are Avent, Disney First Years, Gerber, Dr. Brown, Playtex, and Evenflo.
In a news release, Blumenthal says he and the attorneys general of Delaware and New Jersey wrote to those companies last October to ask that they stop using BPA in baby bottles because of concerns about possible health risks.
Blumenthal calls the companies' voluntary decision to quit using BPA "a major public health victory." Blumenthal also says he is seeking "complete prohibition" of BPA in any product marketed for use by children younger than 3, in containers of infant formula and baby food, and any reusable food or beverage container if a safe alternative is available.
The FDA is studying bisphenol A, but hasn't issued any warnings about BPA in baby bottles or other consumer products.
But the National Toxicology Program issued a report last year that includes "some concern" about BPA's possible effects on the brain, prostate gland, and on behavior in fetuses, infants, and children, and "minimal concern" for effects on the mammary gland and an earlier age for female puberty in fetuses, infants, and children.
Last year, several major companies -- including including Walmart, Toys "R" Us, and Babies "R" Us -- have backed away from baby bottles containing bisphenol A, and Nalgene ditched bisphenol A in its consumer bottles.
The American Chemistry Council, a plastics industry trade group, emailed a statement to WebMD acknowledging the baby bottle makers' decision. The council notes that the FDA has previously said that BPA has "an adequate margin of safety at current levels of exposure from food contact uses, for infants and adults." The council also says it has and will "continue to develop scientific data to inform credible, transparent scientific assessments of BPA so that the public can have the confidence it deserves in the safety of these products."


SOURCES:
News release, State of Connecticut Attorney General's Office.
WebMD Health News: " Bisphenol A: Some Concerns Remain."
News release, American Chemistry Council.


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