Wednesday, November 11, 2009

BPA Re-evaluated

Many plastic baby bottles, utensils, plates, etc. are now Bisphenol A free after studies in animals showed the chemical in plastic may cause developmental delays in kids, among other things. Now a new study shows the chemical is causing erectile dysfunction in men who work in these plastic factories. The FDA is supposed to be re-evaluating the safety of BPA and could put bans in place after their new stance is revealed. The word could come in the next few weeks.

It seems to be pretty easy to find baby/toddler supplies that are BPA free, but I haven't found much when it comes to regular sized plates/cups. I just bought some new Munchkin plates,bowls and cups at Wal-mart. They are working out great so far. I just wish the plates were a little larger.

I interviewed a researcher last year who discovered the potential risks of BPA. Here's a link to his eye-opening findings.

FROM CNN: Bisphenol-A, a chemical found in hard, clear plastic used to make everything from baby bottles to food packaging, may increase the risk of erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems in male factory workers exposed to large amounts of the substance, according to a study conducted in China.

The health effects of BPA have been hotly debated; although some studies have linked BPA to a risk of brain damage, birth defects, hyperactivity, heart disease, early puberty, obesity, and prostate cancer, other research suggests that the low level of exposure from plastics doesn't pose a health risk to adults. (The picture is less clear for children.)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also in the midst of reconsidering its stance on BPA. In August 2008, largely on the basis of research funded by the chemical industry, the agency issued a draft assessment on the safety of BPA in food packaging, concluding that "an adequate margin of safety exists for BPA at current levels of exposure" from those sources.

The FDA report caused an uproar in the scientific community and was soon contradicted. The National Toxicology Program (NTP), a federal agency that advises the FDA on chemicals and other environmental toxins, released its own report expressing "some" concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brains, behavior, and prostate glands of fetuses, infants, and children, as well as "minimal" concern about earlier puberty for girls.

The NTP classified its concerns over reproductive effects from workplace BPA exposure as "minimal."

Soon after, the FDA's own Science Board released a report that cited the FDA's exclusion of a large number of animal studies on BPA, and concluded that the agency may have overestimated the safety of the chemical. Following the release of these reports and a spate of media attention, the FDA announced that it would reconsider its assessment. In mid-August 2009, the agency indicated that it will continue to review the research on BPA effects in humans and will "decide next steps" by the end of November 2009.

So has anyone found adult sized plastic cups/plates that are BPA free?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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