Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Eco groups seek ban on chemical used in baby feeding bottles

Citing its potential harmful effect on infants, an ecological group
are calling for a precautionary ban on "bisphenol A (BPA)," a chemical
used in making plastic feeding bottles for babies.

EcoWaste Coalition said BPA, an industrial chemical used to make
polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins for lining metal cans, has
been linked to health issues.

“The heightened global concern over human exposure to BPA and the
probable health effects even at very low doses should move the
government into imposing a precautionary ban starting with BPA-tainted
children’s products," said Velvet Roxas, a representative of EcoWaste
Coalition and Arugaan,

Arugaan and EcoWaste raised the issue about BPA during the celebration
of World Breastfeeding Action Week from August 1 to 7.

Roxas said the dangers posed by BPA-laced feeding bottles should
encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies.

They said studies showed that exposure to BPA, even at extremely low
doses, can cause reproductive, nervous, and behavioral developmental
disorders, among others.

The groups said BPA is already banned in other countries. California
legislators voted in June to ban BPA in baby products for children,
three years old and younger.

Denmark, in March 2009, banned BPA in food and drink containers for
children three years old and younger. Canada, in 2008, banned the use
of BPA in baby feeding bottles.

The groups said an international conference, to be convened by the
Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization
will be held in Canada in October 2010, to develop a guide on BPA for
food safety regulators.

A fact sheet on BPA, published by EcoWaste, said exposure to BPA comes
mostly from consuming food, which could be tainted by BPA from the
epoxy linings of canned foods and polycarbonate containers.

Arugaan and EcoWaste issued the following guidelines to prevent or
reduce exposure to BPA:

1. Nourish your child with breastmilk, the most complete and first
Zero Waste food. Go for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six
months and continue breastfeeding for two years and beyond.

2. Go for cupfeeding or the giving of expressed breast milk through
cups as the situation requires (expressing is the taking of milk from
the breast, without the baby suckling, by hand or with a breast pump).

3. Refrain from feeding your baby canned foods with plastic linings,
which might contain BPA.

4. Avoid polycarbonate plastic containers, usually marked “PC" or the
number “7"; use safer alternatives such as glass, ceramics or
stainless steel.

5. Refrain from microwaving food and beverage in plastic or plastic
cling wraps. If you prefer to microwave, put the food or drink on a
suitable plate or cup instead.

6. Reduce consumption of canned foods as can liners may contain BPA;
opt for fresh natural and indigenous food instead.

7. Check product labels and select the ones that say “BPA-Free." Ask
your retailer to offer BPA-free products.


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