Monday, March 9, 2009

What Do Baby Bottles and Soda Pop Have In Common?

Photo courtesy of Source.

As some of us are aware, there was a huge controversy about using plastic baby bottles (as well as any hard plastic bottles – water bottles, etc) due to the presence of BPA. BPA (bisphenol A) has been in the spotlight recently because of its mimicry of the female hormone estrogen which is believed to have a potential to cause developmental problems.

Health Canada has found traces of BPA in all of the canned soft drinks it surveyed. This should not be too surprising as BPA is a key component in the epoxy liner of canned food and drink; but, Health Canada is quick to assure us that the amounts are so extremely small they fall well below the safe consumption level.

The results were "not conducive to any human health concern" and "extremely reassuring," says Samuel Godefroy, director of the Bureau of Chemical Safety which falls under the food doctorate umbrella at Health Canada.

The statement seems a little self-serving since it followed reports in The Globe and Mail as well as on CTV News leading to BPA being put on Canada’s toxic substance list as a result of those tests.

Not surprisingly, in the soft drink category, the highest levels of BPA were found in energy drinks.

Canada was the first country to declare BPA toxic and ban its use in baby bottles. This was done as a result of grave concerns that infants might be overexposed to traces of the synthetic sex hormone leaching from the bottles and infant formula cans. (Let me sneak in a plug for breast-feeding. The breast is best!)

Back to business.

Health Canada says adults, pregnant women and older children need not worry about BPA. Besides being used in the epoxy liner in cans, it is also widely used in food packaging.

The survey was based on a representative sample of the soft drinks sold in Canada. BPA was found BPA in 96 per cent of the 72 cans tested. The average level was around .5 ppb.

NDP health critic, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, says that Health Canada’s exposure standard “could be based on an outdated notion of what’s a safe level.” You keep objecting Judy, at one time Thalidomide was considered a safe drug.

One experiment conducted in 2005 at Tufts University School of Medicine found adverse effects. Rodents exposed to BPA during fetal development and early life experienced a doubling of mammary-duct growth. They were using a dose 1,000 times lower than the government’s standards.

Ms. Wasylycia-Leis says it makes no sense to protect babies from BPA in the baby bottles; but, not protect the pregnant mothers from it in other consumer products. She has called on government to ban the chemical from food and beverage containers. Thank Ms. Wasylycia-Leis if it so moves you.

Dr. Godefroy defended the safety limit as among the most stringent in the world.

1 comment:

kathi said...

Not to mention that what is in the soft drink cans is destructive trash. Here in the South there is a long tradition of people being addicted to Coke and other soft drinks. Coke Cola's were colloquially called "dopes" early on - actually had cocaine in them. Now people are addicted for the caffeine. Why of why do we do these things to ourselves?