Today is Blog Action Day. And the topic is the environment. Add to that BlogHer Acts Canada's focus on getting Canada to pass a ban on bisphenol A. Of course I'm joining in.
I've written about bisphenol A before. It's a chemical found in many plastic products, particularly polycarbonates, but also the lining of tin cans. If the plastic is clear and rigid, chances are that there's some bisphenol A in there. But, of course, such labeling is not required, so one can't be sure.
Although it isn't supposed to, it does leach into food; chemically speaking, it is an estrogen receptor and has hormone-disrupting properties at incredibly low levels.
As I planned out in that previous post, we have switched to using glass containers for more foods and stopped using polycarbonate bottles. We have not discontinued all use of plastics, but now serve most of Scooter's food on/in #5 plastics (one of the least toxic).
But I would like to take this moment for a little rant. I mentioned this in a comment over at BlogHers Act Canada, but let me say a little more.
Before Scooter was born, Trillian and I did the whole new-parent thing and carefully researched everything. Even though I intended to breastfeed for at least a year, I knew that Scooter would need to take some feedings from bottles once I went back to work at 5+ months. And so we settled on Avent bottles, even bought the adapter so that I could pump from my Medela pump directly into a bottle. Even when Scooter refused the bottle at first, we stuck with Avent, trying out different nipples (eventually ending up with the sippy cup mouthpiece). So I panicked when I realized that we've been exposing our son to bisphenol A all along.
That's bad enough. I try not to beat myself up about it since I didn't know at the time and can't change what has already happened. But I thought maybe Avent would be concerned about this too. Go to their site, however, and this is what you'll find.
Now the Avent site refers to various regulatory agencies that have approved bisphenol A for food-grade products and that claim there is no danger from it. They hide behind these studies--I say 'hide,' because many of these studies have been funded by the chemical industry or conducted by panels with likely conflicts of interest.
I am both angered and dumb-founded by this whole thing. This chemical is an estrogen receptor. That means it upset the hormone balance in men and women alike. And in such a way that it can lead to things like obesity and early puberty, not to mention low sperm count in men and a greater disposition towards breast cancer for women.
And yet governments assure us that they have determined "safe" levels, often with the help of those very considerate folks who produce bisphenol A. Take one last look at the chart over in the Wikipedia article. Now I'm not saying that every study on that chart is as sound as the next, but look at the general trend, look at the wide range of effects. And look at where the US and Canada put their limits.
In addition to my post here, I will be sending a letter to Avent. I will explain why I will never use their products again and how angry I am that they continue to ignore the science.
Are you angry too? Write a post, write a letter, sign the petition. Make your voice heard. When we all yell about the same thing, it's a lot harder to ignore.