Thursday, April 24, 2008

BPA Update

It's been a busy few weeks on the BPA front. Consumers have been able to do what the government hasn't wanted to - change what goes into plastic bottles. As the demand for BPA-free bottles increased, retail giant Walmart stepped up and announced that it would halt sales of baby bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, food containers and water bottles made with BPA in its stores following a release of a report from the U.S. National Toxicology Program that expressed concern that BPA, which is used to make plastic, could cause behavioral changes in infants and children and trigger the early onset of puberty in females. Now I may be cynical regarding Walmart's motive - increased sales, but who cares, despite Walmart's many flaws they are providing greener products at a price that makes them more accessible to the majority of people. Given Walmart's market influence & buying power, I suspect that this will have a major impact on the plastics industry rather quickly. Case in point, Nalgene, the company that became the generic name for polycarbonate bottles, will no longer be using Bisphenol A. “Based on all available scientific evidence, we continue to believe that Nalgene products containing BPA are safe for their intended use,” Steven Silverman, the general manager of the Nalgene unit, said in a statement. “However, our customers indicated they preferred BPA-free alternatives, and we acted in response to those concerns.”

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