The New York Times reports that a recent statement issued by the Food and Drug Administration officially prohibits the use of BPA in baby bottles and children’s cups.
Bisphenol A, known commonly by its acronym BPA, is a synthetic compound that is commonly used in plastic. Although the F.D.A. declared BPA safe in 2008, concerns arose regarding potential health risks in 2010.
The F.D.A.’s recent statement was largely prompted by the American Chemistry Council, which states that this is partly intended to heighten consumer confidence. The council claims that an official statement by the F.D.A. will settle widespread confusion about the use of BPA in infant products.
In 2010, the F.D.A. mentioned “some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants, and children.” Nonetheless, the agency has adamantly proclaimed that this does not suggest a reversal of their prior approval and that they continue to support its use.
Studies have shown that BPA is often ingested in food. A study found traces of the chemical in urine, breast milk, blood of pregnant women, and the umbilical cord blood.
This narrow proclamation by the F.D.A. does not apply to use in other containers or even in baby formula. Public health advocates have called for larger scale action to prevent BPA’s health risks. The president of the National Research Center for Women and Families said, “The F.D.A. is slowly making progress on this issue, but they are doing the bare minimum here.”
The F.D.A. continues to pursue research on potential health risks, but has yet to withdraw its approval of BPA. Whereas it will no longer be found in baby bottles or children’s cups, bisphenol A will continue to be used in the creation of a variety of plastic containers.