“BPA is illegal now, isn’t it?” NOPE.

From Healthy Child, Healthy World and AP:

“Better labeling news comes to us from Washington state, where a new law went into effect this week that forces manufacturers of toys, cosmetics, jewelry and baby products to report to the state if their products contain hazardous chemicals such as formaldehyde, bisphenol A and phthalates, according to the Associated Press.

P.S. On the BPA front, California is well on its way to passing a law banning the substance from baby bottles, sippy cups, infant formula and baby food.”

Know what that means?

  1. California has NOT YET banned bisphenol A from baby bottles, sippy cups, infant formula and baby food. (Please tell me that means formula and baby food containers!)
  2. In Washington state, you can use “formaldehyde, bisphenol A and phthalates” in baby products. You just have to LABEL it, now.
Let’s start with BPA. I talked about it in an earlier post, but let’s look at why parents should definitely pay attention and the rest of us should feel concern. I even found a nice little picture for you! The National Toxicology Program has a handy website with no alarmist rhetoric (this blog is TAME, people, compared to what else is out there) devoted to educating us, the public, about BPA and how to avoid it, if we want to.

Concerns about BPA are on the left. The level of concern is in handy stoplight color. This is the most conservative statement about concerns surrounding BPA, from the National Toxicology Program.

In case that’s hard to read, there is “some concern” (that’s orange, or yellow-turning-to-red: consider stopping!) for “Developmental toxicity for fetuses, infants, and children (effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland).” How? Well, it’s an “endocrine disruptor.” Which means that it messes with hormones (endocrine system). And here’s another tip from the NTP–if you’re concerned, avoid plastics with the recycle codes 3 and 7. The ones that look like this:

See the 7? Recycle it now. See a 3 in there? Recycle it. Just don't risk it.

These charming folks would like to assure you that your BPA intake is very low, and that there is therefore, no need to worry. Not true. As Annie Murphy Paul writes, in her book Origins, in this case, traditional views are not helpful, because with endocrine disruptors, “the dose does not make the poison.” In fact, a tiny amount might be more dangerous than a large amount. According to Paul, a tiny amount of an endocrine disruptor fails to trip immune system “alarms”–it looks a lot like a natural hormone. If you drank it, undiluted, I’m not sure what would happen, but your body would definitely say “That’s a foreign substance!” and fight it. But we’ve known for awhile now that endocrine disruptors are more dangerous in smaller amounts because they sneak past those alarms and make it straight into breast tissue, umbilical cord tissue, and other scary places.

And just in case you thought you were safe because you use a stainless-steel water bottle and avoid plastic dishes, there’s one more dirty little BPA secret: it’s in your soup can. I have signed two petitions trying to get Campbell’s to stop putting it in their cans; they refused to respond to either. And guess what’s got the highest concentration? Chicken soup. That’s right, the stuff with the character-themed noodles marketed directly to children. Also, ravioli and BABY FORMULA. Okay, enough yelling. But seriously, if you don’t believe me, read this from the Environmental Working Group.

So if you’re one of the people who told me, after my earlier post, that it’s okay to relax, BPA has been banned, this one’s for you. It has not even been banned from baby bottles in all states. True, far fewer baby bottles have BPA in them, but chicken soup and infant formula cans still have it.

Send a letter to your senator. Ask that our kids be protected from BPA. The smart people at MomsRising.org, “where moms and people go to change our world,” have already written a great letter for you. All you need to do is sign it.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or Subscribing to Do Not Faint by Email to have future articles delivered to your inbox.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>