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article imageBad science behind Bisphenol A contaminated baby bottles?

By Stephanie Dearing     Jul 31, 2009 in Health
Ottawa, ON - The government agency that was the first in the world to ban Bisphenol A from baby bottles has found itself with a problem. After testing on Bisphenol A-free baby bottles, Health Canada found traces of the harmful chemical.
If you want to avoid ingesting Bisphenol A, the estrogen-mimicking chemical widely used in some plastics, use non-polycarbonate products, so goes the promotion. After a strong outcry in Canada about the hormone mimicking chemical being found in people, including infants who were exposed through baby bottles, Canada became the first nation to ban Bisphenol A from baby bottles. Since last year, sales of BPA-free baby bottles and baby bottle liners has been brisk.
All that has changed now, after a group of scientists from Health Canada published a study, Migration of bisphenol A from plastic baby bottles, baby bottle liners and reusable polycarbonate drinking bottles, published in the June 2009 issue of the journal, Food Additives and Contaminants. At issue is the statement, "In comparison with the migration observed from PC bottles, non-PC baby bottles and baby bottle liners showed only trace levels of BPA."
While manufacturers of non-BPA baby bottles are crying foul, Health Canada is blaming "improved sensitivity in lab equipment," for the findings of "very low trace amounts" of Bisphenol A in some BPA-free baby bottles. Health Canada also hedged its bets, saying that the results could also have arisen from cross-contamination of the products during the manufacturing process. The makers of non-polycarbonate plastic baby bottles are questioning the results of testing, accusing the Health Canada of "bad science," claiming that the samples were contaminated with Bisphenol A in the lab.
News reports say that tests were conducted on nine different BPA-free bottles and bottle liners by the scientists, with Bisphenol A found in two of the brands. The companies involved are being kept confidential to protect the companies from potential loss of income. According to the report, researchers concluded, "... since these "BPA-free" bottles leached less than polycarbonate plastic bottles under conditions designed to simulate repeated normal use, the government researchers concluded these bottles made of polysulfone, polystyrene or polypropylene (non-PC) are a "reasonable alternative" to the banned polycarbonate (PC) bottles." But according to Health Canada documents obtained by Can West News Services, scientists said the levels of Bisphenol A found were "high."
Bisphenol A is in many products, including dental epoxies, and is widely used in the manufacture of food and beverage containers. The chemical is an estrogen mimicker and has been a particular source of concern since it was learned that infants were ingesting Bisphenol A through plastic baby bottles.
Recently Health Canada released a study showing that 84 per cent of the commercially prepared baby food it sampled contained Bisphenol A.
More about Bisphenol, Baby bottles, Chemicals, Estrogen mimicers, Health canada
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