Toronto – Canada’s decision to propose listing bisphenol A (BPA) as “toxic” and ban the chemical from baby bottles has set a precedent that U.S. governments and major retailers are following.
Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill this week to prohibit BPA in children’s products and food containers. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is among the bill’s co-sponsors. Ten states, including Maryland and California, are also considering regulation of BPA in consumer products.
“Canada’s leadership on bisphenol A is having a spin off effect internationally,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence. “It has now become clear that Canada’s action is the beginning of the end for this toxic chemical beyond our borders.”
BPA is found in hard plastic baby bottles, sippy cups and sports bottles, as well as the lining of some food cans. International organizations, expert panels and more than 150 peer-reviewed studies have associated BPA with a variety of health problems (obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer and a wide range of developmental problems), at low levels of exposure.
Canada announced recently that it intends to list BPA as “toxic” under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The government said it also plans to ban BPA from baby bottles and establish packaging rules.
In the lead-up to the Canadian government’s announcement, dozens of retailers removed polycarbonate products that contain BPA from their shelves, including Sears, Hudson’s Bay Company, Wal-Mart Canada, Home Depot Canada, Mountain Equipment Co-op, and lululemon. Since the Canadian announcement, many new retailers followed suit, including Nalge Nunc International Corporation, the company that produces Nalgene plastic reusable water bottles some of which contain BPA, and Playtex, maker of polycarbonate baby bottles. A list of retailers now going BPA-free is available on Environmental Defence’s Toxic Nation blog, available at www.toxicnation.ca
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the safety of BPA with the formation of an agency-wide taskforce to investigate the findings from the National Toxicology Program and the recent assessment by Health Canada. At the same time, the U.S. EPA’s approval process of BPA is being placed under scrutiny.
Environmental Defence hopes Canada’s proposed “toxic” designation and new rules will be expanded to protect Canadians from the wide array of food and beverage products that contain BPA.
Detailed information about bisphenol A, including Environmental Defence’s report Toxic Baby Bottles in Canada: Bisphenol A Leaching from Popular Brands of Polycarbonate Baby Bottles, is available on Environmental Defence’s Toxic Nation web site 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, clean water and thriving ecosystems nationwide, and to bring a halt to Canada’s contribution to climate change. Nationwide.
For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)