Posted by: soapchix | April 17, 2008


Bisphenol A (or, BPA) is used in the production of polycarbonate plastics (aka, certain water bottles, baby bottles, pacifiers, plastic food containers) and epoxy resins (inside your canned food jar) and can be found in food and drink packaging as well as compact discs and some medical devices. Some dental sealants or composites contain it as well.

It’s getting ugly out there for the last remnants of scientists (like those employed by or lobbying our Government) who still insist that BPA’s are not harmful to humans. For instance:

The FDA in November said there is “no reason at this time to ban or otherwise restrict its use.”

and they still stand by that claim, based largely on studies funded by the American Plastics Council. Yes, that’s right. The firm hired to perform the study were also being bankrolled by the chemical industry (which is documented in some Congressional report that I can’t track down).

However, The National Toxicology Program–an interagency collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration and the Institutes of Health–has issued a report stating, in part:

“There is some concern for neural and behavioral effects in fetuses, infants and children at current human exposures.” The findings expressed concern about exposure in these populations, “based on effects in the prostate gland, mammary gland, and an earlier age for puberty in females. The possibility that bisphenol A may impact human development cannot be dismissed. More research is needed”

Many groups like the International Formula Council, which represents baby food makers counter back:

“the overwhelming scientific evidence supports the safety” of bisphenol, adding that no foreign governments have restricted or banned its use.

How awkward for them that Canada is expected (tomorrow!) to declare BPA’s a dangerous substance (per the Globe and Mail). I anticipate that if Canada has the balls to stand up against BPA use, it won’t take long for the US and the EU to fall in line behind them.

There are a few people who’ve emailed and suggested this is just a big overreaction with little basis in scientific fact. We Soapchix respectfully (or not, depending on how mean your emails were) disagree. This is “one of the most widely used synthetic chemicals in modern industry.” (Globe and Mail)

A recent study showed that BPA’s have been detected in the urine of over 93% of the American population of people over 6 years old. Which makes sense, due to the fact that it’s been in use since the 50’s.

That’s the bad news. That’s the news that’s freaking us Soapchix out a little bit. But, it’s not the worst news in the world, because there are simple ways to limit exposure to BPA’s and we’re here to share them with you!

Really, to limit exposure there’s just one main thing to look for on whatever item you are buying…CHECK THE RESIN (or recycle) CODE!

Repeat this poem (it is April, poetry month!):

2,4,5…live a good life!
7,6,3 & 1…put it back, it’s a bad omen!

SafeMama has a wonderful blog with fancy schmancy BPA cheat sheets that lists BPA free products for Mom and Baby, and The Soft Landing has a great blog of information as well as a store full of BPA free products.

3 years ago, Ash and I made sure to find BPA free packaging for all the Serendipity Bath Co. products…and we must say it’s really exciting to see how savvy the public is becoming about what chemicals are being allowed into their consumable goods. Change is good…and in this case, changing the current lax laws on BPA’s would be GREAT!

Articles Used:
Plastic bottle chemical may be harmful: agency

Gov’t raises safety questions about chemical in plastics

A very nerdily technical report over at Environmental Health News.

Canada first to label bisphenol A as officially dangerous

“Safety of Water Bottles, Baby Bottles questioned”

U.S. Cites Fears on Chemical In Plastics

Gov’t raises safety questions about chemical in plastics



  1. […] Related blogs: Ch-ch-ch-changes […]

  2. Woo! Thanks, ladies. You two are fancy shmancy.

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