After years and years of protests and outcry from numerous public interest groups, it’s finally official: BPA has been banned from baby bottles and sippy cups.
Some will say that the initiative has been a long time coming. For awhile now, bisphenol-A, or BPA as it’s more commonly known, has had its safety questioned by medical professionals and the public at large. Studies have shown that rats and animals, when exposed to BPA, have the development of their reproductive and nervous systems impeded. Researchers maintain that these findings could also be applied toward humans.
The Food and Drug Administration disagreed with that assessment, with the government putting $30 million toward evaluating the potential effect on human beings. However, this hasn’t stopped some people from expressing their worry. Pediatrics published a report last year that showed moms whose urine had heightened levels of BPA largely had daughters who tended to be hyperactive, depressed, or anxious. Yesterday, that same journal reiterated the danger with a study showing that high levels of BPA in tooth fillings might be also be a signpost for these same behaviors.
Given what many perceive as a threat, most consumers likely aren’t surprised by the FDA’s newest move. What might come as a surprise, though, is that the move has absolutely nothing to do with safety and everything to do with BPA’s current prevalence. The FDA made the decision because the chemical has been phased out by all major children’s product bottlers. The American Chemistry Council had asked the organization to ban BPA based off of this reason. Safety concerns might have led to the phase-out, but it’s the phase-out that led to the new ban.
Some are likely going to be of the opinion that this ban does not go far enough. After all, BPA can still be found in the urine of 9 out of 10 Americans. Canned goods and water bottles still contain BPA so that the items won’t be easily spoiled, and even such things as CDs and dental sealants use the chemical. Some manufacturers, such as Campbell’s Soup, have pledged to cease using BPA, but as of right now, the chemical is still fairly widespread.
The FDA still insists that BPA is safe for use in food containers, a sentiment largely echoed by the chemical industry. Certain members of Congress take umbrage with this finding and are trying to pass legislation that would institute a ban. It’s possible, though, that this new announcement could cut off those efforts at the knees.
No matter what happens in the future, at least we can now rest assured that BPA will be outlawed in the aforementioned children’s products.