A suit has been filed against five baby bottle makers who use the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in their products.
The suit, which was filed last week in U.S. District Court by four Ohio parents, claims that the companies knew that bisphenol A was correlated to certain health problems. The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages.
The five companies named in the lawsuit are: Ohio-based Evenflo; Illinois-based Avent America Inc.; Missouri-based Handicraft Co.; Connecticut-based Playtex Products Inc; and the Swiss company Gerber Novartis.
BPA is a chemical that is used in the production of polycarbonate (PC) plastic and many types of resins. It can be found in products we use everyday, such as baby and water bottles, other food and beverage packaging, sports equipment, medical devices, CDs, and household electronics.
Bisphenol A has become controversial because it mimics estrogen and thus could induce hormonal responses.
According to one scientific study, possibly dangerous levels of BPA can leak into the liquid when the baby bottles are heated. The lawsuit associates BPA with conditions such as early puberty and possible autism.
A study completed on rats demonstrated that some of the rats that were fed or injected with low doses of BPA developed precancerous tumors, urinary tract infections, and reached puberty early.
This evidence shows that there is a possibility that the chemical could alter human development and be harmful to children. The American Chemistry Council has asked the FDA to review the chemical.
Other agencies and corporations are now looking into the chemical we have been using in household products for over 50 years.
In August 2007, a U.S. government panel unanimously concluded that exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) presents some risk to human development and reproduction. Also, the Canadian government decided in April 2008, that it would label BPA as a toxic chemical and would ban the import, sale, and advertising of polycarbonate baby bottles containing the chemical.
Nalgene has decided that it will remove some of its hard-plastic products made with BPA from stores and Wal-Mart stated it would stop selling baby bottles containing the chemical. So far 10 U.S. states, including California, Maryland, Connecticut, and New Jersey, already have legislation pending that would restrict or ban BPA in baby products.
The FDA, which has set up a task force to investigate these claims, still states that bisphenol A is safe and is not recommending that people avoid using products made from it. The CPSC also believes the chemical is safe and thinks not using it poses a greater danger. But even though the evidence is only based on animal studies, most experts think that this research raises important questions and that more research is necessary. #