Chemical in plastic bottles worrisome: study

April 23rd, 2008 - 3:03 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, April 23 (IANS) The presence of a chemical in plastic bottles is raising concerns about its potentially harmful effect on infants and children, according to National Toxicology Program (NTP) report. The report, which identified the chemical as bisphenol A (BPA), called for more research to determine just what the risks of exposure to it might be.

One survey by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention detected BPA in the urine of 93 percent of infants aged six years or older.

As the chemical is widely used in plastic water and baby bottles, food packaging, compact discs, and other consumer products, plastics made with BPA usually have the number 7 on the bottom.

Canada said it would begin a 60-day public comment period on whether to ban baby bottles containing BPA. Taking note of these concerns, Nalgene, a manufacturer, has announced that it would phase out use of BPA in its containers.

The NTP report focuses primarily on the possible reproductive and developmental effects of BPA (such as changes in fertility, birth weight, and the development of certain brain regions), not on cancer.

However it does note that in some animal studies, BPA has shown effects on breast and prostate tissue, as well as on how early puberty occurs.

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