Parents all over the European Union breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday when it was announced that all plastic infant feeding bottles will be free of bisphenol-A (BPA) by mid-2011.
As of March 1, 2011, it will be illegal for EU companies to manufacture polycarbonate infant feeding bottles with BPA, an estrogen-like chemical. As of June 1, 2011, the placing on the market and the importation into the Union of these bottles will be prohibited.
Some might be surprised by the agressive move, which comes only two months after the European Food Safety Authority scientists issued a press release saying “they could not identify any new evidence which would lead them to revise the current Tolerable Daily Intake for BPA of 0.05 mg/kg body weight set by EFSA in its 2006 opinion and re-confirmed in its 2008 opinion.”
BPA exists in a wide variety of consumer products, including shopping receipts and canned food, and has been the target of increased scrutiny all over the world. A growing number of consumers are concerned about the potential effects of BPA exposure on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland, especially in fetuses, infants, and children.
In 2009, the scientific group the Endocrine Society published a 34-page report stating strong evidence of ill health effects from endocrine disruptors, including harm to the reproductive system, causing malformations, infertility and cancer, reports Care2′s Melissa Breyer.
Despite the major question marks that exist about the negative impacts of this chemical, most goverments have refused to take definitive action to restrict its use.
In October, Canada became the first country in the world to classify Bisphenol-A as a toxic substance, despite industry opposition. Australia has enacted a similar ban.
Before the current announcement, France and Denmark were the only EU countries that had unilaterally imposed bans on baby bottles with the controversial substance. Danish authorities went a step further by extending the prohibition to all food products for children up to three years old (AFP).
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration still refuses to admit that BPA is dangerous to human health, several states have already put their own BPA bans into place.
TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition for a BPA-free America!
Image Credit: Flickr - WonderMike