Toronto – Sears Canada, Rexall Pharmacies, London Drugs and Home Depot Canada are the latest Canadian retailers to remove plastic baby bottles, reusable water bottles and other products made with bisphenol A (BPA) from their shelves. Environmental Defence congratulated the companies for taking action to protect Canadians’ health.
As more retailers stopped selling bisphenol A products, thousands of Canadians are voicing their concern about the chemical by signing Environmental Defence’s petition calling for federal government action. Nearly 9,000 Canadians have signed the petition, with 1,000 of those signing since yesterday. An online version of the petition is posted on Environmental Defence’s Toxic Nation web site at www.toxicnation.ca.
 
“The wave of change we’ve seen in the past few days is absolutely remarkable,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence. “Canadians are demanding action, and they are demanding safer alternatives for their families. Pro-active retailers are responding in an unprecedented fashion.”

Sears Canada announced it has removed from sale baby products and sport bottles which contain bisphenol A and are designed to come into direct contact with the mouth.  “The move is in response to concerns from consumers about bisphenol A and is another action taken by Sears to respond to health concerns of consumers in addition to its policy aimed at eliminating PVC products and reducing lead content for children’s toys below the age of three to be significantly lower than the current government standards,” the company said in a statement.

Rexall Pharmacies also committed to stopping the sale of products with bisphenol A in its stores. “At the Rexall family of pharmacies, the health and safety of our customers come first and we are committed to listening and responding to our customer needs,” said Jerry Kuske, Chief Merchandising Officer, Katz Group/Rexall. “We are identifying products with bisphenol A for immediate removal and communicating to our stores.”

“London Drugs has been educating customers about the dangers of BPA since January,” said Wynne Powell, president of London Drugs.  “When we learned of the possible risks from BPA, we immediately started purchasing BPA-free products and providing customers with information to help them make an informed choice when purchasing products like plastic baby bottles and sippy cups.  As concern continued to mount around BPA earlier this week, we immediately removed all baby bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, and select food containers and water bottles containing BPA from our store shelves.  Our customer service specialists in our stores and at our head office in Richmond are available to answer our customers’ questions and provide information on these BPA alternatives.” 
Late yesterday, Home Depot Canada said it was getting rid of bisphenol A products. “We have been aware of this issue for quite some time and have identified products in our assortment that contain bisphenol A.  Even though it impacts a small portion of our business, as a conscious retailer concerned for the safety and well-being of consumers, we will immediately remove products containing bisphenol A,” said Dina Vieira, Manager, Public Relations & External Affairs, The Home Depot Canada.
 
These companies join many others who have stopped selling bisphenol A products, including Mountain Equipment Co-op, lululemon, Wal-Mart Canada, Canadian Tire, The Forzani Group Ltd., and Hudson’s Bay Company. 
The federal government is currently reviewing the safety of bisphenol A as part of its Chemicals Management Plan. More than 150 peer-reviewed studies point to potential health effects of bisphenol A, at surprisingly low levels. A report released this week by the U.S. National Toxicology Program raised more concern regarding current exposure levels and links to breast and prostate cancer, and other health effects.
 
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 solutions. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, clean water and thriving ecosystems nationwide, and to bring a halt to Canada’s contribution to climate change.
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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)