Thanks to the Early BPA Pioneers

April 15th, 2008

This afternoon, the US National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, released a draft report indicating that low dose exposure to BPA in plastics may be linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, early puberty in girls and behavioral changes such as hyperactivity. And it’s rumored that the Canadian government will take an even stronger step on Wednesday, naming BPA a “dangerous substance.”

Many feel that this report is long overdue. The fact is, for years now, early pioneers such as the Environmental Working Group and savvy media outlets like The Wall Street Journal have been warning of the potential risks of BPA. Just last August, a group of 38 medical researchers warned again of the potential risks.

Their cry was taken up by prominent bloggers like Z Recommends, Julie Deardorff of the Chicago Tribune, and Denise and Alan Fields of Baby Bargains.

Moms have been anxiously trading stories about which bottles and sippy cups were BPA-free on blogs and parenting listservs like DCUM.

It’s just the latest example of the Precautionary Principle which Diane MacEachern explained here.

When it comes to health and environmental issues, particularly when our children are involved, you can never play it too safe.

What can you do? Go more natural. Think glass bottles and cups, find wooden toys, and get better acquainted with safer plastics, if you feel you must use plastic.

Here are some links that may be helpful to you:

Washington Post and Wall Street Journal articles

Environmental Working Group Guide to Safe Bottles and Formula

Environmental Working Group Guide to Infant Formula

Z Recommends Report on BPA (Third Edition)

Safe Mama

Non Toxic Tots

Want to say “thank you” to the Environmental Working Group for these helpful guides on how to avoid BPA? Go here to have Stonyfield Farms donate $1 to the EWG when you click and fill in your email address.

6 Responses to “Thanks to the Early BPA Pioneers”

  1. Johnny Lucid on April 16, 2008 6:13 am

    “Precautionary principle? “Never play it too safe? So one ought to opt out of vaccinations for diptheria, measles, mumps, pertussis? That’s ludicrous, not to mention highly irresponsible.

    As to the toxicity of BPA, a goodly part of the furor has to do with the fact that our tools for detection and measurement have become quite powerful – 20 years ago, parts per billion (ppb) was derived by calculation not actual physical measurement.

    And if Fred vom Saal’s hypothesis (using BPA) is correct , why has no one else been able to repeat his results?

    The fact of the matter is, the basic rule of toxicology (“the dose makes the poison”) has not been overturned for a new one. Further, just because it, BPA, is present, it does not follow that it poses a hazard and an unacceptable risk. The world is full of potentially toxic compounds we use everyday: life itself is CHEMICAL – get over it!

    Hey always good to get another perspective – I have never endorsed opting out of vaccinations. — Lynn

  2. Jason on April 16, 2008 6:27 am

    I actually have this on my slate of topics to talk about. Is bisephnol-a worse than pthalates that leach from other plastics? Nalgene water bottles are so popular these days – why do none of these articles mention them? They only talk about baby bottles. We never used baby bottles, so I wasn’t aware that they were made from polycarbonate, but I guess some of them are…who knew? BPA leaching is more prevalent when you put warm liquids in the bottles – so that makes sense for baby bottles.


  3. Kristen on April 18, 2008 3:47 am

    I see Johnny Lucid’s point and concur that to a certain degree, we must accept that otherwise harmful chemicals, both natural and man-made, are simply part of life, and that better detection has made us more aware of what has always been there anyway.

    However, I think that one of the larger points of the BPA issue, as well as the rise of consciousness about this and other health-related issues, is the increased use of harmful chemicals in the products we use and the food we eat. For example, in the past more people used safer, glass baby bottles, as opposed to the plastic ones now so common. Pesticides and other toxic chemicals applied to crops were not used to nearly the same degree as they are today. Moreover, those pesticides are getter stronger in order to keep up with bugs that are evolving into stronger creatures to avoid death by pesticide. And on and on.

    While any of these or the myriad other examples of chemicals in our lives may not, individually, pose a significant risk to our health, the overall daily bombardment of newer, stronger, faster, better, etc., products comprised of those chemicals certainly deserves a bit of cautionary scrutiny and an ounce of vigilance, particularly where babies’ tiny, immature brains and bodies are concerned.

    Kristen, thank you so much for sharing this thoughtful response. Very well put. — Lynn

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