Just wanted to pass on some very important information from Dr. Ingles newsletter House Calls, but it goes well beyond that. There is mounting evidence that says Bisphenol A (BPA) may very well not be safe at all! There is an article below from WebMD about it too.
I was particularly concerned because I have four grandchildren and three grown children and of course ourselves as well.
Here’s Dr. Ingles recommendation about it in his House Calls newsletter:
“FDA ignores science, digs in heels on plastic leaching
…The bottom line here, as always, is don’t wait for the FDA to protect you. I tell parents, if they must use plastic bottles, take steps to avoid leaching: Don’t microwave the bottles, discard them when they become scratched, and don’t store breast milk or formula in them.
But the better solution, of course, is to stick with glass or ceramic containers for your children and for yourself.”
I would urge you to subscribe to Dr. Ingles House Calls newsletter. I hadn’t seen this issue in relationship to the FDA’s most recent claims that ‘it’s safe’ in the news until I got my House Calls today.
Then I started doing some research online myself and found tons of links of upset doctors and scientists on this subject.
Here’s two links about it:
FDA Criticized Over Plastic Chemical
Groups Raise Questions About the Safety of Bisphenol A
By Todd Zwillich
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
Sept. 16, 2008 — Researchers and environmental groups attacked the FDA for concluding that a widely used plastic ingredient is safe for humans, saying the agency ignored critical studies showing potential ill health effects.
The comments came at a hearing called by the FDA to examine the science around bisphenol A (BPA). The chemical is used in hard plastic products, including some baby and water bottles, and is also used to line metal food cans.
A growing number of advocacy groups and some members of Congress have called on regulators to ban bisphenol A.
More in the article.
Scientists link chemical used in plastics to health problems
BPA was found to cause a higher risk of heart problems, diabetes and liver disease. The FDA repeated its stance that BPA is safe but is studying the issue.
By LYNDSEY LAYTON, Washington Post
Last update: September 17, 2008 – 12:07 AM
WASHINGTON – The first large study in humans of a chemical widely used in everyday plastics has found that people with higher levels of bisphenol A had higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and liver abnormalities, a finding that immediately became the focus of the increasingly heated debate over the safety of the chemical.
The research, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association by a team of British and American scientists, compared the health status of 1,455 men and women with the levels of the chemical, known as BPA, in their urine.
More in the article.
And it’s not just the ubiquitous plastic containers which is a major part of almost all packaging except cans and flour and sugar paper sacks…or is it….
Here’s some information that was on TreeHugger.com and linked to an article in Globe and Mail but you couldn’t read the Globe and Mail article without buying it because it’s out of date, so I will list the article from Treehugger.com and the Environmental Working Group as well and here’s a clip from the the EWG article:
A Survey of Bisphenol A in U.S. Canned Foods
March 5, 2007
Summary. Independent laboratory tests found a toxic food-can lining ingredient associated with birth defects of the male and female reproductive systems in over half of 97 cans of name-brand fruit, vegetables, soda, and other commonly eaten canned goods. The study was spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and targeted the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), a plastic and resin ingredient used to line metal food and drink cans. There are no government safety standards limiting the amount of BPA in canned food.
More in the article.
And here’s just two article from Treehugger:
Bisphenol A Is In Your Tomato Sauce
by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 05.29.08
We have discussed the danger of gender-bender chemical Bisphenol A from cans before; (see BPA Danger may be greater from Tin Cans than Water Bottles) Now the Globe and Mail and CTV have tested a range of canned foods and found that they are leaching more than double the amount of the stuff than the baby bottle and Nalgenes that everyone has been dumping. Tomato sauce had 18.2 parts per billion, kid’s ravioli 6.2 ppb and tomato juice 14.1 ppb. “These results provide further evidence that we are marinating in this chemical on a daily basis,” said Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence.
Maratin Mittelstaedt writes in the Globe and Mail:
Based on Health Canada’s current exposure guideline, which was developed in 1995 before it was widely known that BPA could act like a female hormone at very small doses, an adult would need to consume hundreds of cups of the tested products each day to exceed the limit.
More in the article.
BPA Danger may be greater from Tin Cans than Water Bottles
by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 04.17.08
Dangers of Bisphenol A (BPA) From canned food
According to the FDA, 17% of the American diet comes out of cans, and many of those have an epoxy liner made with Bisphenol A, a chemical which can mimic human estrogen and which is linked to breast cancer and early puberty in women. While the leaching of BPA from Nalgene water bottles and other polycarbonate bottles is a concern, the danger from canned food may be greater. The Environmental Working Group tested canned food bought across America and found BPA in more than half of them, at levels they call “200 times the government’s traditional safe level of exposure for industrial chemicals.” There are no standards for BPA; it is allowed to be put in anything, and billions of pounds are produced each year. EWG found:
Of all foods tested, chicken soup, infant formula, and ravioli had BPA levels of highest concern. Just one to three servings of foods with these concentrations could expose a woman or child to BPA at levels that caused serious adverse effects in animal tests.
If BPA were in just one thing and in very low quantities, it would be bad enough, but if you tally up the amount of exposure you might get on a daily basis from packaging, plastic bottles, and canned foods, it really begins to mount!
The Bisphenol-A Debate: A Suspect Chemical in Plastic Bottles and Cans
Here’s a quote from page 3:
Vom Saal counters that the studies showing BPA is safe are “profoundly flawed and in some cases exhibit outright fraud.” Last year, he published a paper showing that 100 percent of the industry-funded studies, 11 in all, found no harmful effects from BPA, while 90 percent of government-funded low-dose studies, 104 in number, found harmful effects. “Among people who have actually read this literature there is no debate, just an illusion of controversy,” he says
Here’s a link to Dr. Mercola’s blog site:
Where to Find BPA-Free Products
Companies are taking note of consumer demand by increasingly marketing products that don’t contain the dangerous chemical BPA, which can leech from plastic products into foods, beverages, and the environment. Here is an assortment of resources for locating and buying BPA-free products:
• Amazon.com’s BPA-free section lists water bottles, baby bottles, and sippy cups.
• Rubbermaid says that some of its food storage containers and water bottles contain BPA, while others do not.
• Nalgene now offers BPA-free water bottles.
• Brita, which makes water filtration products, says that its pitchers and filters don’t contain BPA.
More in the list at the site along with links.
Plastic Products at a glance PDF link on Dr. Mercola’s blog article.
Harmful Plastics: Polycarbonate with Bisphenol A
Bisphenol A is a harmful chemical found in polycarbonate plastic which is used to make many popular baby bottles and sippy cups, among other things. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that mimics the action of the human hormone estrogen, which alters our body’s natural pattern. BPA can leach from polycarbonate plastic, usually a hard, clear plastic that is common of many products we use everyday. Effects at even low BPA exposure include prostate cancer, breast cancer, early puberty onset, alterations in gender-specific behavior, decreased sperm count, affects on fertility, behavioral effects including hyperactivity, increased aggressiveness, impaired learning and other changes in behavior, and other problems.
Where is BPA found? Astonishingly, BPA is found everywhere making human exposure widespread.
There is a link to a “Smart Plastics Guide” (PDF) noted in the article from HealthObservatory.org.
If you look at the Quick Start–Plastic products at a Glance (also a PDF) link on Dr. Mercola’s blog entry above, you will see the code is #7-Polycarbonate, but it also says to avoid #3-PVC and #6-PS as well on the guide. There is a list of Baby/Kids’ Items, Water Bottles, Food Packaging and Storage, Cups/Plates/Utensils/Containers that contain them. The ones in red are to be avoided. The only thing they haven’t addressed in this PDF are the acidic canned goods that are lined with it like Tomato Soup etc. Some packaging doesn’t even say, and you can only tell by contacting the manufacturer directly.
a note on the Food Packaging on Store Shelves
Since so many manufacturers are converting to plastics for their packages, a lot of items formerly available in glass, paper or metal packages are no available only in plastic! Again, we urge you, as a consumer, to avoid plastic packaging, especially PVC, PS, and Polycarbonate! Choose glass, paper, or metal whenever possible.
(NOTE: This is from The Green Guide #88-89 — March/April 2001!)
Shouldn’t we be looking at the big picture here?
Looks to me like we should stop counting on the government to do our job for us and maybe just keep some of our tax dollars where they belong. Boy, was Dr. Ron Paul right. We have been so blind on so many levels about the government intervention we have allowed to happen over time.
We are the consumers, and we need to start levying some ‘purchasing power’ or more importantly ‘boycotting power’ on companies that have packaging etc. with BPA in them.
EDIT: inserted additional articles and info – 9/21/2008 1:05AM