"FDA: Baby Bottles With Bisphenol A Are Safe" is the headline of a piece sent to me this week. I feel so much better already.
FDA: Baby Bottles With Bisphenol A Are Safe
(AP) — Plastic baby bottles and water bottles are safe, a federal
health official said Tuesday, seeking to ease public concerns about the
health hazards of a chemical used in the products.
Toxicology Program said in a recent draft report that there is ”some
concern” that bisphenol A can cause changes in behavior and the brain,
as well as reduce survival and birthweight in fetuses. It drew its
conclusions from animal studies.
Canada has announced its
intention to ban the use of the chemical in baby bottles, and U.S.
lawmakers have introduced legislation to ban bisphenol A in children’s
Small amounts of bisphenol A can be released as
plastics break down. Dr. Norris Alderson, the Food and Drug
Administration’s associate commissioner for science, said, however,
that the level of exposure was safe. Some studies had reported higher
release levels than projected by the agency, but many of those studies
were conducted under unrealistic conditions, he said.
our review is ongoing, there’s no reason to recommend consumers stop
using products with (bisphenol A),” Alderson told a House subcommittee.
A also is used in many other products, from helmets to compact discs to
goggles. Any ban of the chemical could result in less effective
protection for children who wear the protective gear, said Dr. Michael
Babich of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. About 99 percent
of human exposure to the chemical comes from diet.
Schettler, director of the Science and Environmental Health Network,
took a more cautionary view. He told lawmakers that animal testing
showed low-level bisphenol A exposures during fetal development can
alter development of the prostate gland and breast. These changes could
increase the risk of cancer, he said.
”Do we wait for irrefutable proof of harm in people before taking action?” he asked.
House Energy and Commerce subcommittee also is reviewing the safety of
phthalates, which is used to make vinyl soft and flexible. Phthalates
are used in medical devices, cars and toys.
Dr. Earl Gray, a
toxicologist at the Environmental Protection Agency, said he had
serious concerns about the potential effects in children who are
exposed to phthalates from IV tubes. He said that although the level of
exposure for most people is low, there can be exceptions. In rats,
phthalates have been shown to cause liver cancer and reproductive tract
malformations in offspring.
Bills filed in Congress would prohibit the manufacture and sale of certain children’s products that contain phthalates.