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Canada is looking to ban BPA from baby bottles, as it affects early development

Statistics Canada reported that 91 percent the country's population has a chemical called Bisphenol A (BPA) in their bodies, which is commonly found in baby bottles and has become increasingly more present in the daily life of Canadians. 

BPA is a harmful chemical that can cause obesity, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. It is found in plastic bottles, baby bottles, the lining of food cans, and as a coating for shopping receipts. Canada decided to ban this chemical in baby bottles specifically after studies indicated that neural development and behavior would be affected by increased exposure to BPA. 

"Cash register receipts are slathered in this stuff...and you absorb it through your skin," said Dr. Rick Smith, author of "Slow Death By Rubber Duck" and executive director of advocacy group Environmental Defense. "The average BPA molecule is flushed from the human body in less than six hours. If we can just get BPA out of a few key areas in our lives, levels in our bodies will come down very, very quickly."

Statistics Canada conducted a two-year survey where the level of exposure to 80 different contaminants and chemicals was measured in Canadian citizens. Results from the study showed that the urine of Canadians tested had a mean concentration of 1.16 micrograms per liter, and that teenagers had the highest concentrations of the chemical BPA. Also, children between six and 11 had higher BPA concentrations than adults who are over 40 years old. 

"The real value in this is for the very first time, (we) have baseline information against which we can study trends and track what is happening with respect to bisphenol A exposure," said Tracey Bushnik of Statistics Canada's Health Analysis Division. 

There are many organizations that warn against exposure to BPA such as the Breast Cancer Fund and the Environmental Working Group, and retailers like Walmart have already stopped selling baby bottles with BPA in the United States, Bushnik adds that BPA is commonly used in so many products that he'd be surprised if it wasn't found in such a large number of the population, and that he is still unsure whether BPA is such a problem yet. 

"Just because it's there though, doesn't mean anything more than it's there," said Bushnik. "It doesn't imply that it's risky, it doesn't imply that it's not risky."

The Statistics Canada report also shows that Canadians have a lower concentration of lead in their systems than the last time a report was released. Thirty years ago, 27 percent of Canadians had concentrations higher than 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood while today it is less than one percent.

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By Spivonious on 8/19/2010 10:06:42 AM , Rating: 1
If it gets flushed out in 6 hours, what's the problem?

The bigger problem that we need to address is our massive daily sugar intake.

RE: Huh?
By Motoman on 8/19/2010 10:11:29 AM , Rating: 2
If it gets flushed out in 6 hours, what's the problem?

...the problem is that you are constantly replenishing your "supply" as BPA is in practically everything, so it seems. Hard to get away from.

RE: Huh?
By Iaiken on 8/19/2010 10:30:22 AM , Rating: 3
Hard to get away from.

It's not hard... It's not cheep either...

All it takes is a conscious effort to identify the types of plastic things are made of (almost always clearly marked as a #).

The following plastics naturally break down and leach dangerous chemicals:

#3 - PVC (polyvinyl chloride) - cooking oil bottles, food packaging, and plastic wrap; many 3s leach phthalates, which can cause reproductive abnormalities. It has been linked to cancer and other health problems.

Many countries around the world have banned this form of plastic from being used in manufacturing, or being recycled or burned in incinerators, as it leaches toxins into the air and soil.

#7 - "Other" (sometimes marked with an "O"): This type of plastic is often a form of acrylic or include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, fiberglass, nylon, polycarbonate, and polylactic acid. It is used to make water bottles, and bottles and children's toys. Some 7s are safe, but most are polycarbonates and leach Bisphenol A (BPA) as they break down.

The following plastic is only dangerous when heated:

#6 - PS (polystyrene) - Egg cartons, meat trays, and Styrofoam; when heated, some 6s can release styrene, a suspected carcinogen.

All one needs to do is make an effort to look at the box (or the bottom of plastic containers if not boxed) to identify what type of plastic was used and to make good decisions.

When it comes down to it, the cost differential is practically negligible. The $10 price difference of getting a stainless steel drinking bottle vs plastic is basically negligible for an individual, it's not like you're buying 50,000 of them. Even non-bpa plastic drinking bottles are available (#1 - PET & #4 - LDPE) are available and inexpensive; you just have to look for them.

RE: Huh?
By gmyx on 8/19/2010 10:48:40 AM , Rating: 2
BPA is not just in plastics. It's on receipts, line cans of pop and canned foods. It's in other odd places as well.

So, now try to eliminate. It hard when it's added to every day stuff.

RE: Huh?
By Iaiken on 8/19/2010 12:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
It's on receipts

Washing your hands before eating solves this problem.

line cans of pop

Don't drink canned drinks. :P

and canned foods

Seriously, fresh produce is NOT expensive if you go to a good fruit and veggie market or god forbid you support your local farmers by hitting the farmers market. Even in winter, my produce bill is lower than my meat/seafood bill.

It's NOT hard, it just requires you to make decisions... god forbid people would have to take personal responsibility for their personal wellbeing.

RE: Huh?
By gmyx on 8/19/2010 1:09:44 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree with you. Fresh is best. It is usually the majority of my bill.

Go to the supermarket and look at is is generally bought. Prepared, canned, boxed, bottled... anything with a wrapper is sold! The rest, no so much. This is actually a two fold problem since these create garbage.

Most people don't even know what is in they food. They just eat it.

RE: Huh?
By JediJeb on 8/19/2010 7:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
Better yet, grow a garden and can your own vegetables in glass jars. I have plenty of green beans, pickles, jalapenos and such in my cabinets. Homemade salsa, spaghetti sauce and relish are great also, and actually very simple to make.

I'm not an ecofreak or afraid of processed foods, I just enjoy the flavor of the home canned stuff much better. Also if you can't Can your food, you can Freeze it. Both work well.

As for the BPA, we test for it here in the lab, and I believe it may be on the list to add to drinking water testing soon. Phthalates are already on the list to be monitored. Also being added to the list in 2012 will be many pharmaceuticals and personal care product ingredients which can not be filtered easily out of the water coming into the drinking water system. You would be surprised at the things you can find in the lakes and rivers used to supply your drinking water. And don't thing that by buying bottled water you are better off, most of those are just refiltered tap water and some we have tested are worse than any tap water you might drink. Also those in plastic bottles usually have phthalates present in them, it is the taste you get when you drink a bottle of water when it is warm.

RE: Huh?
By gmyx on 8/19/2010 8:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
Hummmm. Garden Fresh.

As for the water comment, I'm on a deep well source - not city. The quality is above par (if you don't mind sulfur).

The problem is almost always when you start to mass produce stuff. The quality must go down.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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