Federal agency raises concern over commonly used plastics.THE NATIONAL Toxicology Program National Toxicology Program Environment A program that conducts toxicologic tests on substances frequently found at the EPA's National Priorities List sites, which have the greatest potential for human exposure has raised concerns over bisphenol A Bisphenol A is a chemical compound containing two phenol functional groups. It belongs to the phenol class of aromatic organic compounds. It is widely prepared and sold and various important polymers/plastics are made from it. , a chemical in some plastics that may be linked to a host of serious reproductive and developmental problems.
The chemical, which is used in some baby bottles, infant formula Infant formula is an artificial substitute for human breast milk. Formulas are designed for infant consumption, and are usually based on either cow milk or soy milk. Use of infant formula has been decreasing in industrial countries for over forty years as a result of antenatal containers and other food and drink packaging, was the subject of an April 14 issue brief by the National Institutes of Health's National Toxicology Program that found the highest daily exposures to bisphenol A are among infants and children. The brief concluded the "possibility that bisphenol A may impact human development cannot be dismissed. More research is needed." The brief also mentioned "some concern for neural and behavioral effects in fetuses, infants and children."
In light of those findings, Wal-Mart and Toys "R" Us Toys "R" Us (currently typeset as ToYsЯuS in the logo) is a toy store chain based in the United States, Canada, Australia,The Netherlands, South Africa, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. stores announced they were pulling products containing bisphenol A from their shelves, and Nalgene, a maker of refillable sports bottles, also pledged to phase out the chemical from its products. Senate Democrats introduced a bill in early May that would ban the chemical in all children's products. The legislation would also require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center. to conduct a comprehensive study of the chemical's health effects in children and adults.
The National Toxicology Program's findings about health concerns linked to bisphenol A reversed the opinions of an earlier federal panel that dismissed the concerns.
"The findings break new scientific ground," Anila Jacob, MD, MPH, senior scientist at Environmental Working Group, said about the recent National Toxicology Program brief. "It reflects a significant body of science showing bisphenol A may play a larger role than previously thought in a host of common health problems, including prostate cancer prostate cancer, cancer originating in the prostate gland. Prostate cancer is the leading malignancy in men in the United States and is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in men. , breast cancer and early puberty early puberty Pediatrics The development of signs of sexual maturity before age 8 in ♀ and before age 9 in ♂; some children have changes as early as age 3 or 4; in general there is no identifiable cause in ♀; half of ♂ have underlying ."
Advocacy groups such as the Environmental Working Group have been pushing for more oversight into the issue and have been contacting industry groups and calling for change. For example, last year the Environmental Working Group contacted officials at every major infant formula company, as bisphenol A was commonly used in the lining of formula containers.
For more information, visit http://ntp.niehs.nih. gov.