Although the American Chemistry Council has long maintained that the estrogenic, polycarbonate plastic, bisphenol A (BPA), is safe, it is now asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to update its regulations and ban baby bottles and sippy cups from its regulation that enables firms to use BPA in food-contact applications.
â€œThere is strong scientific support for the continued safety of BPA, but these products [baby bottles and sippy cups made from polycarbonate] are no longer on the market in the U.S., and wonâ€™t be in the future,â€ said Steve Hentges, director of ACCâ€™s Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group, the PRW reported. â€œWeâ€™re trying to cut through the confusion and bring certainty and clarity to consumers so they understand these products donâ€™t contain BPA,â€ Hentges added.
The request is intended to stop state and local legislative BPA banning efforts, noted the PRW, which noted that 11 states, four counties, and Chicago ban the use of BPA in these products. BPA is also banned in baby bottles in Canada, China, and the European Union. In 2009, all the leading baby bottle makers that manufacture for the U.S. market agreed to stop making and selling baby bottles and sippy cups containing BPA, PRW wrote.
â€œLegislators are putting time and effort and making expenditures of resources to ban something that doesnâ€™t exist,â€ said Hentges in an October 7 conference call, PRW reported. â€œAn amended FDA regulation would apply nationwide [but not supercede existing laws] and â€œallow us to shift and focus our attention on products that actually exist in the marketplace,â€ Hentges explained.
â€œFDA action on this request will provide certainty that BPA is not used to make the baby bottles and sippy cups on store shelves, either today or in the futureâ€¦. That is why we are taking the action back to them,â€ Hentges continued. If the FDA accepts the petition, it will initiate its rulemaking processes, followed by a 60-day comment period, thus enabling the FDA to amend its rule in early 2012, Hentges pointed out, said PRW.
We recently wrote that a study linked BPA to increased breast cancer risks. As weâ€™ve long mentioned, BPA, with its hormone-mimicking properties, interrupts sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children and has been linked to toxic injury and implications in cardiovascular disease, intestinal problems, brain cell connection interference, increased risks of reproductive and immune system diseases and disorders, problems with liver function testing, interruptions in chemotherapy treatment, premature puberty, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and other female fertility and endocrine issues, and erectile dysfunction and male sexual problems in males as young as the developing fetus.
BPA is a component in a growing number of consumer products including food and beverage can linings, CDs and DVDs, dental sealants, nautical resins, thermal receipt paper, and even in canned foods marketed to children. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently said that about 1 million pounds of BPA are released into the environment annually.
Government agencies such as the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services, have never issued final decisions on BPAâ€™s effects, which is known to leach into products, whether heated or cold, and into the skin, from items such as paper money and receipts. The FDA does not ban the substance; however, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are conducting a $30 million research project to understand BPAâ€™s effects and should have the results of this study to the FDA in 2012.