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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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RE: Ok, so what about Americans?
By Solandri on 8/19/2010 7:33:21 PM , Rating: 2
In Canada, these bottles have been eclipsed by aluminum and stainless steel drinking bottles in both availability and sales. Just go to any retail store and you'll see dozens of different brands of metal drinking bottles when 2 years ago you would have had a hard time finding one due to their expense vs plastic.

Most people don't seem to know, but metal cans and bottles have a plastic liner inside them to protect against corrosion. Most of the corrosion-resistant metals like aluminum and stainless steel are only corrosion-resistant because when exposed to air, they form a thin but continuous layer of oxidation which seals the remaining metal against the air, preventing further oxidation. Aluminum in particular forms a thin layer of aluminum oxide - the same material as sapphires and rubies.

But in water, it's a different story. The resulting oxidation does not stick to the metal. It gets carried away by the water, no sealing layer is formed, and the metal continues to corrode. Consequently, all metal drink and food cans and bottles are coated with a thin layer of plastic inside not just to prevent this oxidation, but to prevent you from drinking/eating microscopic particles of aluminum oxide, ferrous oxide, and chromium oxide along with the contents of the can.

Putting your drinks in a metal bottle is not that much different from putting it in a plastic bottle. It may make you feel better, but only out of ignorance. I believe Japan is the only country which has banned BPA from the liners in metal cans/bottles.

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