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Brown Says Bye Bye to BPA Baby Bottles

Jerry Brown signed a new law banning the plastic chemical BPA from baby bottles, but is the chemical really harmful?

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Tuesday that he signed a law banning the chemical bisphenol A, more commonly known as BPA, from baby bottles and sippy cups.

Baby bottles and sippy cups that have a BPA level of more than 0.1 parts per billion are now banned from being manufactured, sold and distributed in California, effective next July.

The law had many supporters in the health industry, including the California Nurses Association and the California Medical Association.

A scientist studying birth defects in lab mice first announced the potential dangers of BPA in 1998. Patricia Hunt concluded the chemical was emulating estrogen, leading to birth defects in as many as 40 percent of newborn mice.

Since then, seven states have banned the chemical outright: Connecticut, Washington, Maryland, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York and Vermont.

However, no government study has ever concluded BPA is harmful, according to science writer Jon Entine.

A government study has shown that BPA appears in the urine of 90 percent of U.S. adults and children.

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in 2010 the chemical "is not proven to harm children or adults."

The World Health Organization came to a similar conclusion last year.

Jon Entine October 06, 2011 at 11:42 PM
This is Jon Entine. I am misquoted here. I have never written that "no government study has ever concluded BPA is harmful," although that may in fact be true. "Harm" is a subjective word, however. What I have written, and wrote in the article linked here, is: "scientific institutions around the world have carefully reviewed the entire body of evidence about the chemical and have opposed calls for bans." There is not one example in North America, Europe, Japan, Australia or New Zealand in which scientists at an agency charged with evaluating and overseeing the effects of BPA have recommended that a ban be imposed on BPA in products used by adults or children. Why? Because studies on mice and rats do not replicate how humans are exposed to BPA. Humans ingest microscopic particles of thousands of substances daily, including BPA. Studies have shown BPA is metabolized in children and adults before it has a chance to do any harm. Studies on rats and mice, such as Dr. Hunt's, in which they inject rats or mice with BPA bypasses the natural cleansing system of the body. When government oversight organizations evaluated studies, those such as Dr. Hunt's do not carry much weight because they overstate and even misrepresent potential harm. They are referred to by scientists as "hypothesis driven" studies...which is helpful as part of the research chain, but of little stand alone use to regulators. In sum, the evidence is overwhelming that BPA is relatively harmless.
Peter Schelden (Editor) October 07, 2011 at 12:01 AM
Hi Jon, in the article you also wrote, "no governmental science-based advisory board in the world has concluded that BPA is harmful." That's the quote I drew from.

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