Canada has announced it will proceed with drafting regulations to ban the importation, advertising and sale of polycarbonate baby bottles containing bisphenol A (BPA). Measures will also be taken to reduce the amount of BPA that is released into the environment.
Tony Clement, Minister of Health, said “In 2007, we issued a challenge to industry under our Chemicals Management Plan to provide information on how they manage bisphenol A. Today’s announcement is a milestone for our government and for Canada as the first country in the world to take regulatory action.”
John Baird, Environment Minister, said “Many Canadians, especially mothers of babies and small children in my own constituency of Ottawa West-Nepean, have expressed their concern to me about the risks of bisphenol A in baby bottles. Today’s confirmation of our ban on BPA in baby bottles proves that our government did the right thing in taking action to protect the health and environment for all Canadians.”
The assessment states that the general public does not need to be concerned. The main focus is its impacts on newborns and babies up to the age of 18 months. Nevertheless, health risks for Canadians of all ages were considered.
Scientists determined that newborns’ and babies’ use of polycarbonate baby bottles when they are exposed to high temperature, plus the migration of BPA from cans into infant formula, are the main sources of human exposure.
They concluded in this assessment that BPA exposure to newborns and babies is below levels that cause effects. However, as some studies raised uncertainties relating to the potential effects of low levels of bisphenol A, Health Canada says the Canadian government is “taking action to enhance the protection of infants and young children.”
According to scientists at Environment Canada, BPA is entering the environment through washing residues, waste water, and leachate from landfills. BPA also breaks down in the environment where oxygen levels are either low or non-existent. The accumulative effect of slow break down and the wide use of bisphenol A in Canada could mean that levels may gradually build up in the country’s waters and harm fish and other organisms, Health Canada informed.
A further CAN$1.7 million has been allocated over the next three years to fund research projects on BPA. Health Canada says that this extra money, plus major Canadian studies which are currently ongoing, will help address the key knowledge gaps in both the international and Canadian scientific community.
The final screening assessment report and proposed risk management approach will be published in Canada Gazette, Part I, on October 18, 2008. The proposed risk management approach will be followed by a 60-day consultation period. Regulations are expected to come into effect in 2009.
— Expert Panel Concerned About Bisphenol A Risk To Babies (Medical News Today)
— BPAs Found In Plastics Linked To Several Diseases (Medical News Today)
— Link Between Bisphenol A And Chemotherapy Resistance (Medical News Today)
Written by Christian Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today
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