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Bisphenol A (BPA): Answers to Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About the Plastics Chemical Bisphenol A

Are there companies that use BPA-free packaging?

Yes. As of January 2009, the six major baby bottle and sippy cup manufacturers confirmed to the FDA that they had removed BPA from their products. These would include brands such as Avent, Doctor Brown’s Natural Flow, Evenflo, First Essentials, Gerber, Munchkin, Nuk, and Playtex, which together represent more than 90% of the U.S. market for these items.

Michigan-based Eden Foods says that it has used BPA-free cans for all but its highly acidic tomato products for more than a decade, and reports that the BPA in its tomato can lining has been found to be in the “nondetectable” range.

But testing done by Consumer Reports in 2009 found measurable levels of BPA even in products that claim to be BPA-free. They also found that while bypassing metal cans for alternative packaging like plastic containers or bags can lower BPA exposure, these alternative containers weren’t always better.

“Seeking Safer Packaging 2010,” a report compiled by the environmental advocacy group As You Sow along with the investment advisory firm Green Century Capital Management, gave A grades to three companies -- Hain Celestial, ConAgra, and H.J. Heinz -- for their efforts to eliminate BPA from packaging. General Mills got a B+, and Nestle rated a B.

Has bisphenol A been banned anywhere?

Yes. Several states have banned BPA in certain consumer products. Minnesota’s law bans the chemical in spill-proof cups and baby bottles, while Connecticut’s goes further, banning its use in baby food cans and jars as well, along with reusable beverage containers. In 2010, more states followed these first two, with Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Wisconsin banning BPA from products made for young children, and Vermont and Washington state banning it in sports bottles and reusable food and beverage containers as well.

In October 2010, Canada declared BPA to be a chemical that is toxic both to the environment and human health, setting the stage for tighter national regulation.

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