Apr 13, 2009 | 1
At least seven states are considering banning bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in baby bottles and other plastic products that U.S. federal regulators have said is safe but has been banned in Canada because of links to health problems including heart disease and diabetes.
Lawmakers in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota have proposed restrictions on BPA, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports – part of a periodic series of stories the newspaper is running on the chemical also found in the lining of cans.
The proposed state measures would ban BPA in baby bottles, baby formula cans, cups and other products for kids, according to the newspaper. The House and Senate are also considering bills, introduced by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), that would slap a federal ban on use of BPA in all food and drink containers.
Apr 3, 2009 | 13
There are some 82,000 chemicals used commercially in the U.S., but only a fraction have been tested to make sure they're safe and just five are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to congressional investigators. But a government scientist says there's no guarantee testing actually rules out health risks anyway.
The basic premise of safety testing for chemicals is that anything can kill you in high enough doses (even too much water too fast can be lethal). The goal is to find safe levels that cause no harm. But new research suggests that some chemicals may be more dangerous than previously believed at low levels when acting in concert with other chemicals.
"Some chemicals may act in an additive fashion," Linda Birnbaum said this week at a conference held at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at Columbia University. "When we look one compound at a time, we may miss the boat."
Mar 6, 2009 | 2
As politicos bandy about the issue of banning bisphenol A (BPA), the hard-plastic additive that's been linked to a host of health problems, several companies have recently announced that they will banish it from their baby products. Attorneys general from Connecticut, New Jersey and Delaware in October asked six major baby bottle makers to stop using the controversial chemical. All of the companies have agreed to comply, according to a statement released yesterday by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.
"This prompt positive response sends a profoundly significant message that baby bottle manufacturers respect the science showing BPA health dangers," Blumenthal said. According to the announcement, Avent, Disney First Years, Dr. Brown, Evenflow, Gerber and Playtex will all stop selling bottles and formula containing the chemical. Retailers, such as Wal-Mart, CVS and Toys 'R Us, announced last year that they would also discontinue selling them.
Mar 4, 2009 | 2
Officials in Suffolk County in Long Island, N.Y., this week voted to ban the sale of baby bottles and sippy cups that contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical linked to heart disease and diabetes as well as reproductive, immune system and other health problems. If the ban is enacted, it will be the first such limit in the U.S.
"This is a victory for all consumers, but most of all for our youngest ones," Urvashi Rangan, a policy analyst at the Consumers Union, said in a statement. "We are … hopeful this will have a resonating impact on the rest of the country and the marketplace as a whole."
The ban, however, will only take effect if Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy signs it into law, which he won't do until residents have a chance to weigh in on the issue at a public hearing set for March 16, according to Levy spokesperson Dan Aug.
Dec 18, 2008 | 6
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that humans carry phthalates—chemicals used as softeners in plastics and found in everything from pill coatings to nail polish—around in their bodies. A growing number of studies, primarily in rats, show that phthalates cause male reproductive problems—infertility, decreased sperm count, malformation—and can cross the placenta. As a result, the European Union has banned some of them and consumer advocate and environmental groups have called for the U.S. government to do the same.
Today, an advisory panel of scientists, commissioned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), released a report recommending that the chemicals be assessed as a group for potential risks as soon as possible.
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