Attorneys General Ask Companies to Eliminate BPA, Many Already Have

Attorneys General Ask Companies to Eliminate BPA, Many Already Have

As the debate continues over in what cases bisphenol A (BPA) may or may not pose a health risk, three state attorneys general have asked 11 companies to take BPA out of their products.

Many of the companies say they've already eliminated the chemical, an ingredient in making hard plastics and epoxy can liners, or developed BPA-free alternative products as a response to concerns from the public and uncertainty over its safety.

The action by the companies is similar to that taken by Canadian retailers and manufacturers after the country announced earlier this year it was planning to declare BPA a toxic substance; the country's departments of Environment and Health have just recently proposed BPA be added to the list of toxic substance in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Attorneys General from Connecticut, New Jersey and Delaware are asking Avent America, Disney First Years, Gerber, Handicraft, Playtex Products and Evenflo to remove BPA from baby bottles, and asking Abbott, Mead Johnson, PBM Products, Nature's One and Wyeth to take BPA out of baby formula containers.

Many of the companies said they had already begun the process of changing products or looking into what they can do different, due partially to customer concerns. "Although the scientific evidence is inconclusive, the possibility that BPA may pose adverse health risks to the infants and children was more than sufficient for us to begin the process of eliminating BPA from our infant formula packaging," said Joe Shields, PBM Products' public relations director. "We are working with our suppliers to complete this process as quickly as possible while still complying with FDA's approval process."

Avent recently launched a BPA-free baby bottle to give consumers the choice to buy BPA-free or not, a spokesperson said. RC2, the parent company of First Years, says it has voluntarily taken BPA out of baby products.

Gerber has removed BPA from some products and has a goal of making all bottles, pacifiers and cups BPA-free by the end of this year. The company also sells liquid formula and baby food jars that contain BPA in their epoxy linings. Playtex also is in the process of converting its products (the company already has about 80 BPA-free bottles, bottle liners and other accessories), and puts special labels on products that do not contain BPA or phthalates.

Mead Johnson uses BPA in its formula packaging, and although the company feels BPA is safe when used at low levels in packaging, it is looking into alternatives due to consumers asking for a change, according to a spokesperson. Wyeth also uses BPA only in glass bottle cap liners, and plans to eliminate it.