Health Minister Tony Clement announced today that Canada will be the first country to ban plastic polycarbonate baby bottles after concluding the chemical is toxic. The partial ban will focus on increasing the current safety margin to decrease exposure of infants and pregnant mothers to bisphenol-a. The move is meant to be preventative and “better safe than sorry.”
They did try to sidestep the issue of the toxic chemical as it applies to adults, at least for now, by stating that most Candians need not be concerned about the health effects of BPA.
And what about infant formula cans, the other main BPA offender?
Clement said canned infant formula remains a concern, but government will work with industry to establish codes of practice to reduce the amount of bisphenol A in the linings of cans and set migration targets for the toxin.
Judy Wasylycia-Leis, health critic for the New Democrats, said this sends a confusing message to parents; the NDP welcomes a partial ban, but wants the ban to extend to all food and beverage containers with BPA, including all products designed to feed infants.
“The minister has left people in a very precarious position, claiming it's a toxic substance, but not making a firm recommendation to parents not to use any product with bisphenol A.”
The proposed baby-bottle ban and recommendation to list bisphenol A as a toxic substance under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act is now subject to a 60-day public consultation period.
The Vancouver Sun reports that the plastics industry is still working to keep polycarbonate on the market. It now has two months to present any new information. If none is presented, BPA will be officially declared a toxin, and a ban of plastic baby bottles with BPA will be in place within 12 months.
In the meantime, retailers and manufactures continue to distance themselves from the chemical.
In Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart announced Friday the immediate removal of plastic baby bottles, drinking cups, bottle liners and reusable beverage containers with BPA from store shelves. Earlier this week, other retail giants took similar steps.
In the United States, Wal-Mart announced it is phasing out its BPA products in their baby aisles, and expects to only sale BPA-free baby products by early next year.
Nalgene Outdoor Products, a unit of New York-based Thermo Fisher Scientific that produces the popular water bottle Nalgene, announced Thursday it would stop using plastic because of safety concern over its key ingredient, BPA.
Smith says is the beginning of the end for bisphenol A.
“What's going to happen here is that market forces are going to take over. We've already seen this in the last few days. There's no product manufacturer on the face of this planet that is going to want to put a product that has been officially labeled as toxic in their bottles, whether it's water bottles or baby bottles or tin cans.”
Source: Vancouver Sun “Chemicals Banned From Plastics”