On Tuesday, the Oregon senate shot down the proposed ban on certain baby products with BPA. This occurred shortly after a radio show, Think Out Loud, debated the issue with consumers, grocers, and manufacturers.
Manufacturers and other retailers are getting on board with BPA free products, as consumer demand for them increases. In the last decade more people have become aware of the endocrine disruption caused by BPA, and recently the FDA has recognized this effect in the scientific literature. Personally, I do try to avoid plastics with BPA in them for my baby. I tend to have sensitivities to chemicals that are commonly found in our modern environment (such as formaldehyde and fire-retardant chemicals). I don’t want to risk exposing my son to them more than necessary, just in case he shares my sensitivity!
An important piece in the Oregon debate on the radio show, “Think Out Loud” on Tuesday, was the difference between banning a substance and requiring clear labeling that a substance is present. While labeling gives consumers the choice of whether they are concerned with a substance that some deem dangerous, from a public health standpoint labeling may not go far enough. Those that do not have the scientific awareness of the issue may not know what the labeling means or its importance.
On the other hand, BPA has been used recently because it is a cheap additive to plastic with desireable properties, and so one may assume that products made with it are going to be a little bit less expensive. The extra expense may be worth it to some, but not to others, though most likely there will still be sippy cups at dollar stores and other inexpensive retailers whether or not BPA becomes a banned substance.
Michael Potter, CEO of Eden Foods, stated on the radio show “Think Out Loud” on Tuesday that Eden Foods cans some of their foods in BPA-free cans, because they believe it is the right thing to do. He also stated that about half of the cost of the canned food item is the can itself. Manufacturers are voluntarily providing some BPA-free products, sometimes at a significant rise in cost of manufacturing. Potter mentioned that the dangers of BPA have been known in the scientific community since the 1990s.
Which states are BPA-free?
3. Four counties in New York
4. Chicago (city)
Working on it: California, Maryland, Washington, Wisconsin, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington, D.C.
BabiesRUs now has a “BPA Free” category under Feeding products: http://www.toysrus.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3117458