Image: Abigail Batchelder via flickr
Barely a week after the U.S. Senate failed, because of industry influence, to ban BPA in baby bottles and limit its use in other children's products, the EU passed a very similar ban that will go into effect next year.The ban on the gender-bending, potentially cancerous chemical will take effect on bottles manufactured in the EU starting in March 2011, and on imports and sales starting in June.
The BBC quotes National Childbirth Trust chief Belinda Phipps on the potential harm of BPA in baby bottles: "When you put liquids into a bottle - particularly hot liquids or liquids containing fatty liquids - it leaches out of the plastic. And particularly as the bottle gets older and it gets more scratched, more and more leaches out and into the liquid."
Despite ubiquitous concern worldwide about the impact of BPA, or bisphenol-A, on human health, and its official status as a health hazard in Canada, industry continues to insist there is nothing wrong with BPA, and the ban by the EU has been called an "overreaction."
This is one case, however, in which public opinion seems to be winning out. With a ban on BPA in baby bottles in Chicago, Canada, and now the EU, and with bottle manufacturers and national chains in the U.S. both distancing themselves from the chemical, the influence of industry over politics in the U.S. is still disturbing, but at least tempered to some degree. You might say there's progress in baby steps.
More on BPA
Six US Baby Bottle Manfacturers Walk Away From Bisphenol-A (Polycarbonate) Designs
Senate Fails to Pass BPA Ban on Children's Products
Canada Becomes First Country to Officially Declare BPA a Health Hazard
Chicago Becomes First City to Ban Bottles With BPA
What Would Happen If BisPhenol A (BPA) Were Phased Out Tomorrow?