The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of bisphenol-A (BPA) in baby sippy cups and bottles. The FDA ban was announced in the Federal Register on July 17, 2012 in response to a petition that was filed by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) requesting a BPA ban, citing that companies were no longer using polycarbonate material for baby sippy cups and bottles, and that a BPA ban would help eliminate consumer confusion.
When droves of parents expressed their concern with BPA safety, manufacturers started making and marketing BPA-free baby bottles for the US market in lieu of polycarbonate bottles, which contain bisphenol-A. In essence, this BPA ban is enforcing an already voluntary ban that was driven by consumer action, and does not make any changes to what’s currently available on the shelves today.
It should be noted that the BPA ban in this instance is very narrow, and does not extend to other types of packaging or products made from BPA-laden polycarbonate material. There are many public concerns about BPA safety, and studies have shown that BPA used for food and beverage packaging can leach into food and beverages and ultimately wind up in the blood stream once ingested. There are also concerns about cash register receipts that contain BPA, which can rub off onto people’s hands and also wind up in the blood stream.
Bisphenol A is an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen in the body, and it is suspected to cause a variety of health problems including developmental and reproductive abnormalities, which has lead to specific concern about BPA exposure to infants and babies.
People who consume canned drinks such as sodas and eat canned foods such as soups (cans are lined with BPA to help prevent corrosion) have been found to have alarmingly high levels of BPA in their bodies compared to those who eat fresh foods; the difference in BPA levels was found to be over a thousand percent! However, this is still a very controversial topic and there are those who believe that BPA is safe.