Canada just became the first country to declare bisphenol A (BPA) to be a toxic chemical that poses risks to health and the environment. The official notice states:
Therefore, it was concluded that bisphenol A should be considered as a substance that may be entering the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.
The announcement came shortly after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) dismissed concerns of neurological, developmental and behavioral effects raised recently in scientific studies. The decision was also made despite serious opposition from the American Chemistry Council, who insists that the move went against the weight of scientific evidence and will cause unnecessary alarm.
I have to agree with Rick Smith, the executive director of Environmental Defence and co-author of Slow Death by Rubber Duck, who told the New York Times that he hoped that the government would ban BPA from infant formula can linings. Polycarbonate baby bottles used to be our greatest concern, but a hearty grassroots movement against BPA in baby bottles caused most manufacturers to drop the endocrine-disrupting chemical some time ago. The next most concerning exposure for developing babies comes in liquid formula sold in metal cans.
So is the U.S. next? At this point I honestly don’t foresee a BPA ban happening here anytime soon, so choosing the right formula is important. SafeMama did a lot of the homework for parents in her Infant Formula Cheat Sheet, taking into account other chemical additives in addition to BPA.