Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today sent letters to 11 companies urging them to stop using the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles and baby formula containers in light of recent studies clearly linking the chemical to potential health problems.
Growing scientific evidence shows that even a small amount of BPA damages infant reproductive, neurological and immune systems.
The attorneys general of New Jersey and Delaware joined Blumenthal in the letters. They were sent to baby bottle manufacturers Avent, Disney First Years, Gerber, Dr. Brown, Playtex and Evenflo; and formula makers Abbott, Mead Johnson, PBM Products, Nature's One and Wyeth. BPA, which hardens plastic, is used in the lining of baby formula containers.
"I am alarmed by recent studies confirming that BPA leaches from these products into the foods they hold," Blumenthal said in the letters. "The preventable release of a toxic chemical directly into the food we eat is unconscionable and intolerable.
"Credible, escalating laboratory evidence demonstrates that even low dose exposure to BPA causes serious damage to reproductive, neurological and immune systems during the critical stages of fetal and infant development. A recent study commissioned by a coalition of United States and Canadian environmental health organizations found definitive evidence that when heated, baby bottles leached BPA at levels that have proven to cause a range of adverse effects on laboratory animals. Experiments have linked exposure to BPA at very low levels to health problems, including prostate and breast cancer, early onset of puberty, obesity and diabetes."
A recent released by Yale School of Medicine clearly links low levels of BPA exposure to brain fluctuations and mood disorders in monkeys. Another recent study by federal health agencies confirmed that BPA may affect human development.
Blumenthal added, "Over 20,000 parents, along with environmental and public health organizations, petitioned major manufacturers of plastic baby bottles containing BPA urging the voluntary elimination of the dangerous chemical.
"We call for the immediate elimination of this dangerous chemical from our children's food. We urge you to take a leadership role in making safer children's products by immediately discontinuing the use of BPA. We believe that your company has a public duty to ensure that every product is safe for every consumer, but especially for infants and children."
BPA is used in a wide variety of plastics, including reusable water bottles and sunglasses. Baby bottle and formula containers are not required to say whether they contain BPA. Some manufacturers, however, have stopped using the chemical and say so on their packaging.
FDA has so far refused to ban the BPA in spite of growing scientific evidence of its toxicity. Blumenthal recently wrote Food and Drug Administration asking it to ban BPA in baby bottles and baby formula containers.