Canada becomes first jurisdiction in the world to take regulatory action
against bisphenol A
OTTAWA, Oct. 18 /CNW/ - After years of public protest and mounting
scientific evidence, the government of Canada made a precedent-setting
announcement by banning a known toxic chemical from baby bottles. The
chemical, bisphenol A (BPA), is commonly found in plastic baby bottles, hard
plastic sippy cups, reusable water bottles, the lining of some food cans, and
dental sealants. The announcement was published in the Canada Gazette, the
official newspaper of the Government of Canada
"The federal government has delivered on its promise to ban bisphenol A
in baby bottles and deserves congratulations today. With this step, Canada
leads the world," said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental
Defence. "Parents across the country have won an enormous battle."
BPA has been found to leach out of products such as baby bottles and the
lining of some food cans. Most recently, a study published in the Journal of
the American Medical Association linked, for the first time, 'normal' levels
of BPA in a large human population in the U.S. with higher risk of heart
disease and diabetes. International organizations, expert panels and more than
150 peer-reviewed studies have associated bisphenol A with a variety of health
problems (obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer and
a wide range of developmental problems), often at surprisingly low levels of
Health Canada's own assessment of bisphenol A noted that this chemical
can accumulate in the womb, exposing the fetus to higher concentrations than
at other stages in the child's life. Bisphenol A has been detected in breast
milk at levels nearly as high as those found in infant formula. There is
significant evidence that bisphenol A is acutely toxic to aquatic organisms,
and the chemical has been found in surface waters, sediment, groundwater and
elsewhere in the environment.
Environmental Defence's online campaign (www.toxicnation.ca) gathered
thousands of signatures from Canadians urging Health Canada to ban BPA in all
food and beverage containers. An EKOS Research poll in June, commissioned by
Environmental Defence, found that 73% of respondents believe that the Canadian
government should extend regulation of bisphenol A in baby bottles to include
other food containers, such as reusable water bottles and food cans.
"Canadians want this chemical out of their homes and out of their lives,"
said Dr. Smith. "With the non-toxic alternatives available, the federal
government should require a transition away from bisphenol A, in all its
applications in food and beverage containers, as soon as possible. The
government should maintain its course and make sure that the precautionary
principle continues to lead our decision-making with respect to the many other
hazardous chemicals in our environment and our bodies."
The announcement commits the federal government to working with industry
to limit BPA in the linings of infant formula tins, but does not propose to
eliminate or reduce bisphenol A in other canned goods, dental sealants, or the
many other consumer products that contain this toxic chemical. "The only
acceptable level of BPA in infant formula cans is zero," said Dr. Smith.
"Getting this chemical out of cans, period, is the government's next critical
The proposed Risk Management approach for bisphenol A can be found online
at www.ec.gc.ca/substances/ese/eng/challenge/batch2/batch2_80-05-7_rm.cfm, and
the screening assessment is online at
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental
Defence protects the environment and human health. We research solutions. We
educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air,
clean water and thriving ecosystems nationwide, and to bring a halt to
Canada's contribution to climate change.
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); Aaron Freeman, Environmental Defence, (613) 564-0007, (613)
697-7281 (cell); Dr. Rick Smith, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext.
225, (416) 670-9521 (cell)