Toxic Chemical in Plastic Bottles & Cans Damaging Children's Brains & Reproductive Organs but Government & Chemical Industry Remain Unconcerned
A federal report finds 'some concern' that fetuses, babies
and children are at risk from bisphenol A. But plastics industry
officials see no serious risk.
A controversial, estrogen-like chemical in plastic could be harming the development of children's brains and reproductive organs, a federal health agency concluded in a report released Tuesday.
The National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, concluded that there was "some concern" that fetuses, babies and children were in danger because bisphenol A, or BPA, harmed animals at low levels found in nearly all human bodies.
An ingredient of polycarbonate plastic, BPA is one of the most widely used synthetic chemicals in industry today. It can seep from hard plastic beverage containers such as baby bottles, as well as from liners in cans containing food and infant formula.
The federal institute is the first government agency in the U.S. to conclude that low levels of BPA could be harming humans. Its findings will be used to help regulators at federal and state environmental agencies to develop policies governing its use.
The draft report followed an 18-month review that was fraught with allegations of bias, heated disputes among scientists and the firing of a consulting company with financial ties to the chemical industry.
Some scientists suspect that exposure early in life disrupts hormones and alters genes, programming a fetus or child for breast or prostate cancer, premature female puberty, attention deficit disorders and other reproductive or neurological disorders.