Okay, war sound harsh but it’s a battle of sorts. Is BPA safe or isn’t it? Is it a myth that BPA is harmful and the media is fooling us because we don’t have the facts?  Well, according to Mom Style News or Mom Myth Busters (same author), yes. If you follow me on twitter you might know, Friday there was a big twitter debate going on over this. The Good Human, Safe Mama, To Think and Nature Mom , twittered their opinion.

Here is it is folks, BPA might not kill you if your child drinks out of a sippy cup or has some canned food lined with BPA. Sure, I conceded to this. BPA is a chemical and the FDA and EPA has limits of safety so companies use this and then hide behind it, because they can. Companies that have gone with BPA free products have done so because of consumer demands. Why are consumers demanding this? Duh, because there are risks. Who’s most at risk? The fetus, infants and children are most at risk. Even the reports sited by Mom Style News don’t discount that, she just says they are minimal. Well, my son has a minimal risk of getting hit on our road when he crosses it because of the traffic statistics or what I observe. So I should let him just take that “minimal” risk. It’s just a possibility and not a fact! That’s how ridiculous this debate is!  Here are the facts that have led ME to know that choosing BPA FREE is the right thing to do and since Mom Style News is all about the facts and going by what the facts are and not just reading mommy blogs (which I love, support, read and rely on) here it is…

FACT: The government sources are basing their decisions and statements on assessments with hundreds of flaws and errors. The FDA has based it’s decision on two studies, funded by the plastics industry.

FACT: BPA can leach out of bottle, sippys or any plastic just from a hot soapy wash in a sink or dishwasher. The scratches expose the chemical. Source:  LA Times. Mom Style News states:

“As for your baby. As long as you are not feeding your baby boiling liquids your little baby buggy bumper will be just fine, even if she drinks from a BPA bottle.”

This is not a fact and is not true at all.

FACT: Doctors and Scientists with no ties to the government or chemical industries are pointing out the scientific facts of there being risks and the dangers.

“These hormones control the development of the brain, the reproductive system and many other systems in the developing fetus,” says Frederick vom Saal, Ph.D., a developmental biologist at the University of Missouri. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can duplicate, block or exaggerate hormonal responses. “The most harm is to the unborn or newborn child,” vom Saal says. Source: Green Guide

FACT: The National Toxicology Program is planning a future evaluation of BPA but thus far has concluded  there are risks. There are enough harmful “possibilities” to warrant further studies.  Source:  Transcript from NTP Meeting dated June 11-12, 2008

FACT: The FDA is not yet completed it’s review of BPA and is only currently saying it is safe but admits to having more studies to review. The FDA still admits repeatedly that there is minimal concern, there are possibilities and limited evidence showing BPA is NOT safe. The FDA concedes that more studies are needed to conclude the health implications. Source:  U.S. Department of Health and Human services

FACT: Canada has banned BPA to help keep because they don’t want the potential risk of harming their citizens. Canada has a different approach to chemicals with a chemical eco-action approach.

FACT: The United States, in the past, has used other toxic substances, such as lead, for manufacturing purposes, despite leads toxic history.

FACT: Money is the bottom line. Industry funded studies sway reports and are at the steering wheel of government assessments.

EWG finds in the report many examples of arbitrary and inconsistent application of scientific criteria to BPA studies in the report. In comments, EWG notes that the expert panel found 70% of industry-funded and only 30% of non-industry funded studies to be adequate for purposes of assessing BPA toxicity; the panel rejects independent studies at 3 times the rate of industry funded studies.

FACT: Work Group for Safe Markets is calling for an immediate phase out of BPA because of independent studies supporting the leaching of BPA from baby bottle. Source:  Consumers Report

FACT:  http://www.bpafacts.org/and http://www.factsonplastic.com is funded and supported by the Chemisty Council.

FACT: http://www.coalitionforconsumerchoice.org is supported by those in the industry using BPA in their products (American Chemistry Council, Am. Electronics Ass’n, Toy Industry Ass’n, Playtex (polycarbonate bottle), Munchkin, Evenflo)

FACT:  Plastic makes up 12% of our trash so cutting back on using the plastic WILL help the environment.  Source: Time Magazine

It’s important to understand the time line of BPA and how this chemical has evolved, how it’s used in packaging, how it comes in contact with our food and why it’s imperative it be phased out. Think about these points…

Think: Why would the plastic industry confess and say they wanted to stop using BPA? Why would they volunteer to stop using BPA? Why are they funding campaigns to keep BPA in the industry? It has to do with money not our safety.

Think: How much money it would cost the FDA, companies or any source sited by Mom Style News to admit that BPA is bad. Look at the law suits companies like Gerber are facing because of this now.

Think: If there are alternatives, non-toxic and safe sources of giving our children food or bottles, why shouldn’t we advocate and demand these?

Think: What is wrong with glass bottles or storage container?

Think: Is it just one chemical like BPA or a compilation of chemicals and toxins? Do we need to rid as many toxins and chemicals as possible from our environment to keep Mother Earth and us healthy? Just because plastics were invented and are convenient doesn’t make them good for us, like the industry wants us to believe.

My final thought: Is it worth waiting until the FDA, EPA and any other governmental regulation says that BPA is dangerous and hazardous? If reports and studies that aren’t biased and are not influenced by money are telling us there is a potential or minimal risk, why put our children at risk when there are alternatives?  I can let my son cross the road with me and be safer or without me and have a potential accident.

Understand this:

I am not extreme.

I believe in moderation.

I know we can’t avoid chemicals in our lives or plastics all the time.

I understand that media is a business and blows things out of proportion, sometimes.

I know that the plastic industry and the chemical industry don’t have my health as their top priority but their wallet.

I also know, the FDA, EPA, and all other government sources have biases, industry funding and for the love of GOD they aren’t always honest or trustworthy.

So use what you want. Do what you feel is right for your family and yes, make an informed decision. I will choose to use glass containers, glass bottles, BPA FREE plastic and advocate and support for a ban of all BPA.

For some excellent resources and a project that I’m currently supporting and working on please visit, BPA Project. Please visit my review of BPA Free Sippy Cups for safer alterntives and tips for avoiding BPA, written by a medical professional.

Why not? Great tips for free!

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Great article. People need to understand that while it may not kill you today, why use it at all in products where there are alternatives? If I can avoid a toxic chemical in my plastic, I will surely try to do so. Thanks for writing this!

  2. Summer, I find it very odd that you choose to try to discredit Momstyle News as if it is a scientific information source. Momstyle News is not a scientific agency. I’m a mommy blogger, a journalist. Some other references that you cite are also not scientific sources: L.A. Times, Consumers Report, or Time Magazine. None of these organizations have expertise in the area of chemistry, neither do you or I. However, the national government health organizations that both of us cite as sources are experts at both performing scientific studies and understanding the data. I recommend that all moms click directly to the primary sources, that both Summer and I reference, and then leave us two mommy bloggers behind. Read the source material for yourself and make your own decision. I believe in empowering moms (especially new moms) to make informed choices. I have no interest in bullying anybody into a point of view. In my article I presented the facts from the highest sources available. That’s all any responsible journalist should try to do.

    I wish you and your families health and happiness.

    Angeline
    http://www.MomstyleNews.com
    http://www.MommyMythBuster.com

    P.S.
    It is not true that BPA leaches after washing at high temps. You would have to drink from it at that high temp for it to leach. Once it cools to room temperature it is safe once again. Don’t take my word for it, link to Health Canada’s information about that from my article. (Health Canada says this even though they are the organization to ban BPA in baby bottles. They still feel it is safe in all other applications.)

  3. Angeline,

    I’m not trying to discredit Mom Style News or Myth Busters but rather point out that you aren’t busting some Myth, like you claim. I don’t feel you’re pointing people to the facts but rather to government agencies that are basing their decision on biased, flawed data.

    You posted an opinion as well, not just facts and so I am posting my response to that opinion. Those reading Mom Style News or Myth Buster should know the flaws in what you site as facts and the best sources.

    It’s not to blast or not have people not read what you write. I read and subscribe to your blogs. It’s a debate and sends many of my readers to your site to also see your post and then decide for themselves, as you point out.

    Every mom needs to make a decision for themselves and their families and I agree with you there.

  4. …oh! I forgot to mention one more thing. The reason that I felt this was a timely article to write is that there is legislation on the table that could have far reaching effects, especially to those who rely on inexpensive canned goods as a food source. Everyone always says, “just replace it with a chemical that is ‘safe'”. But the problem is, there is no proven safe alternative yet. Until there is, a ban could cause something less thoroughly tested to be generated quickly and may end up being more harmful. I do not like the idea of endangering anybody. The only way to avoid the hazardous effects of chemicals is to not use chemically engineered products. I make my own hair conditioner and facial moisturizer for this very reason. But I understand that when I start putting artificial substances into my mouth, there is a risk. If I don’t want to take that risk I use alternatives instead of expecting plastic to not be plastic.

  5. Sommer – Great post!

    Just a comment on alternatives to lining canned foods and beverages with a BPA-free lining. There are alternatives available. For non-acidic foods, there is a lining currently used by Eden Foods that is free of BPA, and increases the cost by $0.02 per can. This is only for Eden Foods’ beans, not all of their products. The lining isn’t practical for acid based foods such as tomatoes. Now, that cost may be significant, but the cost will be significantly less per can if it were adopted on a broader basis according to the lining’s manufacturer.

    Also, the Japanese reformulated the lining a couple of years ago at no increased cost. That lining has shown virtually no BPA leaching . . . but it is a polyester based lining.

    Another issue too is not so much the lining itself, but the process for canning – that heats to a high temperature and seals, increasing the leaching. For some types of goods, “cold sealing” is an option that should be explored since it reduces the amount of BPA that leaches during the canning process.

    Jennifer
    http://www.thesmartmama.com

  6. I am the author of the MomstyleNews.com and MommyMythBuster.com article in question and Jennifer have been debating the merits of my post for a few days. Although I stand by what I wrote as including all of the most credible non-partisan data available, I deeply appreciate Jennifer’s comment here. She has added to the base of information collectively being presented in a very positive way. Thank you, Jennifer. I’m sure we all appreciate it.

    I wish that Sommer would have linked to scientific references for all of the points she asserts are facts. I would like to be able to read them and decide for myself. Perhaps she will do so? Thanks.

  7. What a great debate this is. I think it’s important to remember that there is not a website or author being questioned here but a logic. The logic of choosing BPA, supporting BPA, defending BPA, keeping BPA, and believing biased industry funded reports.

    Sommer

  8. I used to work for one of the evil polycarbonate makers, in the polycarbonate production unit. I bought their lies, hook line and sinker, and even used PC bottles with my own kids. I now know better.

    The issue first arrived in the plastic made for the 5 gallon water bottles which are made of polycarbonate b/c of its durability. The bottle makers complained of unusual odors and claimed it was BPA. The plastic maker originally said it was impossible. BPA is a raw material in the making of the plastic and most is comsumed in the reaction to make the plastic. The maker said all was consumed even though they did not even test for BPA in the final product. They didn’t have the equipment, the testing took too long, and was too costly.

    The bottle manufacturer insisted on testing which was done offsite. This left the product sitting for longer than normal times in the warehouse, which was not acceptable for a ‘world class’ facility. They have requirements on how long it should take from the initial customer order to the time it arrives at the customers door.

    It is possible to test and assure that there is no unreacted BPA in the final plastic. It only takes time and money and they just have to be willing to do it. If not they should leave this plastic for DVDs, eye glasses and car parts, which are bigger users anyhow.

  9. Although I am convinced that BPA bottles are not going to harm my children. I in no way am advocating for their use. In fact, I think that since there are both doubt and alternatives, parents should probably choose the alternatives. What I am trying to help people understand is that there does not appear to be any reason to initiate an universal ban of the use of BPA and I very much appreciate that Susan has made her comments, because it I think they are right on. In short, what I think she has said is, an outright ban can be circumvented by responsible distribution. I would add to that, if we are going to take legal action it could be in the area of monitoring the testing by distributors, instead of initiating a ban.

  10. I am an online parent organizer for the Environmental Working Group (EWG), and find the info we have prepared on this issue to be very complete, understandable, and compelling. And for the non believers, there’s always the precautionary principle – if it’s not proven safe and there’s reason to suspect harm, avoid it. The way US toxics law (doesn’t) work, none of our chemicals are proven safe. Our BPA info is here: http://www.ewg.org/chemindex/chemicals/23297. We solidly address the low-dose issue: it matters.

  11. I cannot help but agree with the over all logic of the arguments against using BPA products.Which seems to be as Lisa put it, “if it’s not proven safe and there’s reason to suspect harm, avoid it.” I believe most responsible parents follow that logic in many areas concerning the raising of their children.

    However, what I don’t understand is why we are debating this issue with such passion and energy when there are much worse products on the market that are killing us (Americans) and our children at alarming fast rates (which increase dramatically each year). How about this logic “if it’s proven to be unsafe, cause harm, cause harmful and terminal diseases, and not proven to be of any user or health benefit, don’t consume it!”

    Take Milk for example, the casin (protein) from milk that is used in most baby formulas: Has been proven to be the primary cause of Type I diabetes in children & infants. That is a horrible debilitating disease that we do not have a cure for, nor good treatment. And in over 90% of cases it could be entirely avoided by not consuming dairy products. (Ref: The China Study, by T. Colin Campball)

    How about meat and other animal products? Consuming meat, dairy and other animal products are the primary causes of over 86% of all deaths in the united states! Much worse then smoking or even illegal drugs, in fact more fatal then all car crashes and wars combined!

    Here is a very short non-complete list of diseases that “are caused by” consuming animal products. And similarly could be entirely avoided, and most even completely reversed (even at late stages) by switching your diet to a plant based whole foods diet:
    * Heart Disease (coronary disease/problems, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, etc)
    * Cancer (colon, lung, breast, leukemia, brain, stomach, liver, esophagus, prostate, etc.)
    * Obesity (carrying more then a third of a person above and beyond a healthy weight)
    * Diabetes (Type I and Type II)
    * Autoimmune Diseases (Graves’ disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, Thyroiditis, Vitiligo, Pernicious anemia, Multiple sclerosis, Type I diabetes, etc.)
    * Osteoprosis
    * Kidney Stones
    * Blindness (Macular degeneration, cateracts, etc.)
    * Cognitive Dysfunction (memory loss, disorientation and confusion)
    * Alzheimer’s Disease

    Animal products, and especially milk & dairy products are “proven causes” of the diseases that “will and continue to kill” most Americans each day.

    Visit http://snurl.com/healthsite for more detailed information as well as cited scientific studies & sources. As with all information do your own research, and then ask why you haven’t of of these things before. It is far more frightening then this current BPA issue!

  12. I am new to all this BPA and plastic info.

    Are zip locks bags dangerous when freezing cold foods? We use plastic a fair bit in the freezer. Any advice?

    Many thanks,

    Jason.

  13. It’s a very false logic to mention that “if it’s not provden safe, assume it’s harm”. Because, essentially, what you’re saying is if it’s not proven safe, assume the alternative is safer.

    To me, for those who said there are BPA-free safer alternatives out there, so why risk it with BPA? Now how exactly are those others proven “safe”? Those BPA-free plastic bottles, how much research are done on those?

    For all I know, I’ve been using plastic containers (even with hot tea) for ages now (assume to be BPA since they’re inexpensive bottles!). Also, BPA has been around since 1891, and those other alternatives, how long have they been around, not to mention evaluated and tested?

    I still don’t think BPA is going to harm anyone (meaning plastic bottles and canned food via normal usage). What’s better really? A glass cup for my 6 year old?!

    This reminds me of all the other scare/paranoia—with Teflon, BBQ, Styrofoam cups, the new car smell, etc.—where it eventually came to pass and ignored after the media hype.

  14. Funny you should mention Teflon and the “new car smell” and it all passing because it isn’t passing like you think. By the year 2015, I believe, Teflon will not exist b/c of the toxic fumes. Car companies are looking at indoor air quality and their cars being associate with allergies and asthma. BPA is harmful, there isn’t a question about this in my eyes. Only when we try to make ourselves feel better about our past uses and harms do we justify this. I will always advocate for glass or stainless steel over plastic. If you decide to go with plastic, go with BPA-FREE to err on the side of caution. This isn’t some paranoia thing, sorry. Have you seen toxic brew or read anything from the Environmental Working Group?

  15. Yea Jamie, I hear ya. It’s just like those other hypes I keep hearing about like aerosols, transfats, refined sugar, MTBE, perchlorate, arsenic, and CAFOs (I actually find these quite pleasant smelling).

  16. Hi,

    Even if the government didn't release any regulation that BPA is dangerous or harmful we should be alert. Especially, when it may risk our children's health. We'll rather be safe than feel sorry in the end.

    There are some evidence show that BPA is hazardous. Did the government already made extra effort to conduct a study to confirm this and make a regulation?

    -Angella Wilson
    My Last Blog Post Revitol Stretch Mark Cream Review

  17. does anyone know if the inside of tea tins, tea foil packages, small envelopes containing the teabag, contain BPA. Those little envelopes are often papery on the outside and slippery on the inside. What is inside them?

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