RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—As U.S. government agencies disagree over the health risks associated with the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, Health Canada (Canada's equivalent of the United States' Food and Drug Administration, aka FDA) made its mark as it made Canada the first country to declare BPA a toxic health hazard. It even initiated a nationwide ban on using BPA in baby bottles, and the European Union will follow suit next month. But the problem is, one of the groups most vulnerable to BPA won't be protected by a BPA ban in baby bottles. "The human fetus is not being exposed to BPA from baby bottles," explains Laura Vandenberg, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology at Tufts University in Boston. "Exposure comes from what Mom's consuming."
THE DETAILS: In an analysis just published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Vandenberg challenges Health Canada to enact strong legislation to protect all consumers from BPA. After all, the agency has stated that "the potential harmful effects of bisphenol A during development cannot be dismissed and the application of precaution is warranted."
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But protecting unborn children during critical windows of development—a time when research has shown real-world exposure levels can damage normal organic and reproductive development and lead to obesity, infertility, and metabolic disease later in life—would involve getting BPA out of products that pregnant mothers consume, not just baby bottles, Vandenberg says.
Published on: February 22, 2011
Updated on: February 23, 2011