Toronto – Lululemon became the second large Canadian retailer to stop selling polycarbonate water bottles that leach the toxic chemical, bisphenol A. The decision takes effect in January. With mounting evidence for the chemical’s dangers, Lululemon has followed Mountain Equipment Co-op’s example in deciding to stock safer alternatives.
Environmental Defence applauded Lululemon today for putting their customers’ health first. Bisphenol A is currently under review as part of the federal government’s Chemicals Management Plan, and the Ontario government recently announced an expert panel will review bisphenol A and other toxic chemicals with a view to regulating them.

“These are the retailers that get it,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence. “They recognize that there are alternatives and have made their customers’ health the priority. I have no doubt that other large Canadian retailers will be following suit in short order.”

Lululemon and Mountain Equipment Co-op have joined Patagonia in deciding not to sell the hard plastic bottles that leach bisphenol A. The chemical is found in clear reusable water bottles and baby bottles made from polycarbonate, as well as in the linings of some food cans (including infant formula cans).

Two recent panels in the U.S. have pointed to potential health effects of exposure to bisphenol A. The U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences expert panel of 38 leading scientists found that most people are exposed to bisphenol A at levels higher than those that cause health effects in animal studies. An expert panel of the U.S. National Toxicology Program concluded recently that bisphenol A exposure to fetuses and to children could have behavioural and nervous system impacts.

“The dangers of bisphenol A in food and drink are becoming clear, and it won’t be long before this chemical is gone completely from food and beverage containers,” said Dr. Kapil Khatter, Environmental Defence’s Pollution Policy Advisor.
 
Washington, DC-based Environmental Working Group and Environmental Defence co-released a study recently that found bisphenol A in the linings of all major manufacturers of canned infant formula. Previous studies show that the bisphenol A leaches into the formula. Environmental Defence is working with daycare centres across Canada to remove products containing bisphenol A.
 
As part of its national Toxic Nation campaign, Environmental Defence has tested Canadians and politicians for toxic chemicals in their bodies. Everyone tested for bisphenol A had measurable levels in their blood. Full test results are available online at www.toxicnation.ca.
 
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. We research. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, safe food and thriving ecosystems. Nationwide.
 
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For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)