Canada Banning Bisphenol A Baby Bottles

Canada Is First Country to Ban Baby Bottles With the Plastic Chemical BPA

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on October 21, 2008
From the WebMD Archives

Oct. 21, 2008 -- It's official: Canada is banning baby bottles containing bisphenol A, a plastic chemical found in some polycarbonate bottles and the lining of canned goods.

The Canadian government says it will immediately start drafting regulations banning the importation, sale, and advertising of polycarbonate baby bottles that contain bisphenol A (also called BPA). That makes Canada the first country to order a ban on bisphenol A baby bottles.

In the U.S., the FDA is in the process of reviewing bisphenol A's safety. So far, the FDA isn't backing any bisphenol A bans and sees no risk from typical levels of exposure among consumers. But scientists at another government agency, the National Toxicology Program, aren't so sure that bisphenol A is harmless, based on lab tests on animals.

An FDA advisory committee takes the topic up again on Oct. 31.

Canada's BPA Ban

Canadian health officials proposed banning bisphenol A baby bottles earlier this year as a precaution, though Canadian scientists found no scientific proof of risk and no sign that children are exposed to dangerous levels of bisphenol A.

A news release from Health Canada, the Canadian health department, cites "uncertainty raised in some studies" about the effects of low-level exposure to bisphenol A as the reason for the ban.

Canada isn't banning bisphenol A in other products, and Health Canada states that "the general public need not be concerned." Canada will also work to limit the amount of bisphenol A released into the environment.

The American Chemistry Council, a plastics industry group based in Washington, D.C., issued a statement responding to Canada's bisphenol A baby bottle ban.

The council stresses both the safety of bisphenol A and Canada's lack of finding proven risks to human health, even at low levels of exposure to bisphenol A.

The council's Steven Hentges, PhD, says bisphenol A is used in safety products such as bicycle helmets and in canned food linings, which help "to protect the safety and integrity of our food supply."