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FDA Eyes Bisphenol A Concerns

FDA Isn't Recommending That People Ditch Bisphenol A but Notes That BPA-Free Baby Bottles Exist
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

April 28, 2008 -- The FDA is looking into concerns about the safety of bisphenol A, which is found in polycarbonate plastic (including some baby bottles, water bottles, and other food and drink packaging) and epoxy resins (which line some metal products including canned foods).

The FDA has formed an agency-wide BPA (bisphenol A) task force to review concerns noted in a bisphenol A draft report recently issued by scientists from the National Toxicology Program and in a separate risk assessment by Canadian health officials.

The FDA states that based on its ongoing review, "we believe there is a large body of evidence that indicates that FDA-regulated products containing BPA currently on the market are safe and that exposure levels to BPA from food contact materials, including for infants and children, are below those that may cause health effects. However, we will continue to consider new research and information as they become available."

The FDA says that while its risk assessment process is under way, it isn't recommending that anyone discontinue using products that contain bisphenol A. But "concerned consumers should know that several alternatives to polycarbonate baby bottles exist, including glass baby bottles," states the FDA.

The American Chemistry Council, an industry group, asked the FDA on April 17 to review bisphenol A's safety in food contact applications. The council maintains that the potential human exposure to bisphenol A from polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin food contact applications is minimal and poses no known risk to human health.

Several retailers, including Wal-Mart, Toys "R" Us (which includes Babies "R" Us), and CVS/pharmacy, have announced plans to phase out baby bottles containing bisphenol A. Nalgene says it will stop using bisphenol A in its consumer water bottles.

(Are you worried about the chemicals that may be lurking in your plastic bottles? Take our poll on WebMD's Health Cafe message board.)

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