Bisphenol-A Levels in Canned Infant Formula Pose Higher Risk Than Baby Bottles



    All major North American manufacturers admit use of plastic's chemical

    TORONTO, ON and WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 5 /CNW/ - Many new parents are aware
that the toxic chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) leaches from plastic baby bottles
found on the shelves of stores across North America. But a new investigation
released today by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Environmental
Defence Canada reveals that Bisphenol-A is also used to line nearly all infant
formula cans. BPA levels found in liquid formula are likely to be far higher
than those that leach from bottles under normal use.
    Company officials were contacted at Nestlé, Ross-Abbot (Similac),
MeadJohnson (Enfamil), Hain-Celestial (Earth's Best), and PBM (sold under
various names at Walmart, Kroger, Target and other stores). Each company's
policy was documented a minimum of three times; twice through detailed phone
interviews, and once by an e-mail questionnaire. The results reveal that all
manufacturers use BPA to line the metal portions of all infant formula
containers, including powdered varieties.
    "Many parents have switched to BPA-free bottles for their infants. They
certainly should have access to BPA-free formula as well," said Sonya Lunder,
a senior analyst with EWG. "U.S. manufacturers of infant formula and baby
bottles can and should do the right thing and remove this harmful chemical
from their products."
    "There is mounting scientific evidence that BPA is toxic, especially to
children," said Aaron Freeman, Policy Director with Environmental Defence
Canada. "Governments should be acting quickly, starting with a ban on BPA in
food and beverage containers."
    Previous formula testing by EWG and the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) has shown that BPA leaches from the plastic lining of metal cans into
liquid formula, exposing formula-fed babies to potentially harmful
concentrations that are higher than levels leaching from the bottles. BPA
levels in powdered formula sold in the United States haven't been tested, but
this formula is diluted with water before being fed to babies, and thus poses
less risk to babies.
    In light of these findings, EWG has created an online guide for parents
to help them make the most informed decisions about how they feed their
babies. http://www.ewg.org/babysafe

    Should Parents Be Concerned About Bisphenol-A?

    Two separate panels sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health
(NIH) have both detailed concerns within the last year about infant exposure
to BPA. One of the panels consisting of 38 BPA experts from around the world
expressed grave concerns that human exposures are at or above the levels that
cause harm in animal studies.
    The other panel concluded that there was "some concern" that infant
exposure could harm brain development and adversely affect behavior. The
chairman of that panel indicated that parents would be wise to avoid infant
exposure to the chemical until serious outstanding questions about BPA's
potential harm are sorted out.
    EWG's previous estimates found that 1 out of every 16 infants fed
ready-to-eat liquid formula are exposed to BPA at doses exceeding those that
caused increased aggression and significant changes in testosterone levels in
laboratory animals.

    EWG (www.ewg.org)is a nonprofit research organization based in
Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and
the environment.

    About Environmental Defence Canada (www.environmentaldefence.ca).
Environmental Defence Canada protects the environment and human health. We
research. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure
clean air, safe food and thriving ecosystems. Nationwide.





For further information:

For further information: or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232, (647)
280-9521 (cell)


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