Gender bending chemical Bisphenol A will be banned from baby bottles in EU

Daily Mail | November 26, 2010

A potentially harmful chemical commonly found in plastic baby bottles is to be banned from their manufacture from next year.

Tests show that Bisphenol A (BPA) can leach from the bottle into any liquid it contains, with potentially damaging results. The organic compound is believed to affect development in young children.

The European Union yesterday approved the ban, which will come into effect in Europe next year.

The chemical is widely used in making hard, clear plastic and is commonly found in food and drink containers. But last month Canada officially classed Bisphonel A as toxic because of its 'biological diversity' and several U.S. manufacturers have voluntarily withdrawn the compound.

EU commissioner John Dalli said: 'There were areas of uncertainty, deriving from new studies, which showed that BPA might have an effect on development, immune response and tumour promotion.

'The decision ... is good news for European parents who can be sure that as of mid-2011 plastic infant feeding bottles will not include BPA.'

The ruling also received the backing of UK charity The National Childbirth Trust.

Chief executive Belinda Phipps told the BBC: 'When you put liquids into a bottle - particularly hot liquids or liquids containing fatty liquids - it leaches out of the plastic. And particularly as the bottle gets older and it gets more scratched, more and more leaches out and into the liquid.'

Ms Phipps pointed out that when a baby drinks from a bottle which contains BPA, the leached chemical is consumed by the baby and absorbed into its fat.

'It's a chemical that mimics estrogens, but not in a good way,' she said.

'It interferes with estrogens getting into the receptors, and it can have some very unpleasant effects - and animal studies have shown significant effects.'

But the ruling is likely to provoke a backlash from the chemical industry.

The American Chemistry Council described Canada's decision to ban the substance as 'contrary to the weight of worldwide scientific evidence, unwarranted and will unnecessarily confuse and alarm the public'.