Plastic baby bottles found to be toxic
(Feb 7, 2008)
A new study released by Environmental Defence found that 90 per cent of
plastic baby bottles sold in Canada leach bisphenol A into infant
formula, milk or other liquids being drunk by babies.
chemical is a known hormone disruptor and is associated with adverse
health effects, including breast and prostate cancer, early puberty in
girls, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, and obesity.
Ban is needed
the tests, nine different polycarbonate bottles from three different
major manufacturers were heated and lab results found leaching of
bisphenol A with a range of 5-8 ng/ml (parts per billion). Recent
scientific research shows that bisphenol A can be harmful at doses
below the levels found in the study.
"Clearly, we are putting
our babies’ health at risk by using brand name plastic baby bottles,"
said Dr. Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence. "The federal
government must act immediately by banning bisphenol A from baby
bottles and other food and beverage containers."
Top brands most dangerous
study looked at three major brands of bottles: Gerber, Avent and
Playtex. Avent had the highest level of leaching; Playtex brand baby
bottles had the lowest. Even more disturbing: levels of bisphenol A
leaching increased exponentially when the bottles were heated, with the
Avent brand bottles showing the highest concentration.
only argument the chemical industry has left is that those levels
aren't high enough to warrant concern, and there is no parent on God's
green earth that is going to buy that argument," Smith said.
were also conducted on baby bottles bought in the U.S. - Avent, Dr.
Brown, Evenflo and Disney. The results were similar as those of bottles
bought in Canada, with Dr. Brown bottles showing the highest
concentration of bisphenol A after the bottles were heated.
Government responding -- slowly
Canada is currently conducting a safety review of bisphenol A as part
of the federal government’s Chemicals Management Plan, and will
recommend whether to regulate the chemical in the coming months. In
Ontario, the McGuinty government is creating an expert panel to review
toxic chemicals, starting with bisphenol A, with a view to introducing
stricter regulations to protect Ontarians’ health. Environmental
Defence is calling for a ban on the use of bisphenol A in baby bottles,
reusable water bottles and all other food and beverage containers.
Change of mind
both Health Canada and the U.S. FDA concluded bisphenol A didn’t pose a
risk. The FDA is now reviewing its findings after studies on mice and
other animals have linked the chemical to cancer, reproductive
problems, diabetes and learning development disorders.
so many scientific studies showing harm in low doses, there’s no excuse
for failing to act to protect children’s health," said Dr. Kapil
Khatter, Pollution Policy Advisor for Environmental Defence. "The
absence of regulation is needlessly putting children’s health at risk."
Defence is also encouraging retailers to stop selling products that
contain bisphenol A. including plastic baby bottles. Both Mountain
Equipment Co-op and Lululemon recently chose to take bisphenol A
products off their shelves. Find safer alternatives in our article The healthy baby bottle.
The full study, Toxic Baby Bottles in Canada: Bisphenol A Leaching from Popular Brands of Polycarbonate Baby Bottles, is available to download for free on the Toxic Nation web site.