Bisphenol-A (BPA) continues to make headlines, more than a year after the National Toxicology Program draft report. Many parents are still struggling to figure out which bottles and sippy cups are BPA-free, and whether or not the chemical is of great concern to them. The most recent research on BPA and baby indicates that it may be harder than you think to find a BPA-free bottle for you or baby, but also that finding those BPA-free products for the whole family may be more important than ever.
BPA Linked with Aggression in Toddler Girls
A study from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and Canada's Simon Fraser University shows that BPA's estrogen-mimicking tendencies may have far-reaching consequences. The study followed nearly 250 women throughout their pregnancies and then also evaluated their children. The women who showed the highest concentrations of BPA in their urine at 16 weeks pregnant had more aggressive, hyperactive daughters than those with lower concentrations of BPA. BPA exposure has been linked to neurological changes, diabetes and asthma, among other conditions, but previously much of the research focused on postnatal exposure. Past research has shown that prenatal exposure to BPA can affect the sex differences in mice, including affecting aggression among young females.
That BPA-Free Bottle May Not Be BPA-Free
Canadian researchers studying BPA leaching from baby bottles were surprised to find that several baby bottles labeled BPA-free actually leached trace amounts of BPA into water and an ethanol solution. These tests from Health Canada were used to back Canada's decision to ban the use of BPA in manufacturing. Bottles from trusted companies sch as Dr. Brown's, Medela, Gerber and Nuby leached trace amounts of BPA, baffling the researchers and, sometimes, the manufacturers themselves. Is there a breach in the BPA-free manufacturing process? Health Canada and the manufacturers agree that more research is necessary to determine how the BPA got there and whether it's an ongoing problem.
Meanwhile, SIGG, a trusted manufacturer of BPA-free water bottles for adults and older kids, is facing a class-action lawsuit because they continued to call their products BPA-free despite having a liner that contained BPA. Consumers are angry that SIGG's CEO announced that the aluminum bottles were free of chemicals that scientists have deemed harmful when the bottles did contain small amounts of BPA.
Scientists to FDA: Stop Dragging Your Feet on BPA
In October 2009, a group of 33 scientists who have studied BPA sent a letter to the FDA stating that the government is wasting millions of dollars in its efforts to further study BPA before making a decision on whether or not to ban or restrict its use. More than 900 studies on BPA are already available, the scientists noted, and at least 80 percent of them indicate that BPA can cause harm to humans. However, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, none of the industry-funded studies showed that BPA was harmful. This group of scientists accuses FDA of stalling their BPA decision at the risk of public health.