The FDA says baby bottles and sippy cups can no longer contain Bisphenol-A (BPA), an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen. But what about the hundreds of other plastic items, from water bottles to dental sealants, containing BPA?
The FDA didn't go far enough, said Mercyhurst University Public Health Department Chair Dr. David Dausey. Dausey addresses the FDA's recent BPA ban in his latest vlog, The Dausey File: Public Health News Today.
BPA has been associated with a wide range of health problems from metabolic disease to reproductive health defects. Dausey said the ban is merely symbolic and doesn't truly regulate the controversial chemical.
"Manufactures and the chemical industry were getting such bad press from their use of BPA in baby bottles that they voluntarily decided to stop using it years ago," Dausey said. "Now that no one is using BPA in baby bottles, the FDA finally gets around to banning it."
It's not only BPA that deserves further scrutiny, he said. He urged stronger state and federal regulations to protect consumers from a host of other potentially toxic chemicals that have found their way into a vast array of consumer products.
"The last federal toxic chemical law in the United States was passed in 1976," Dausey said. "Since then, more than 80,000 chemicals have been brought to market."
Examples of other potentially harmful chemicals found in consumer products include Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs), which can be found as stain retardants in clothing, and have been associated with impaired immune responses in babies; and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs), found in flame resistant products, which have been linked to learning disorders and hyperactivity in young children.
"We can and should do more to protect our children and families from harmful chemicals," Dausey said. "The FDA's recent ban on BPA is just a symbolic gesture that needs to be followed up with real regulations and real laws that force manufactures and the chemical industry to be accountable for their products and prove that they are safe before they are brought to market."
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