BPA poses serious health risk to children

The recent opinion piece written by a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute ("BPA ban exposes children to risks," May 3) is full of inaccuracies and produced by an organization that receives funding from the chemical and plastics industries. Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, has long warned of the dangers BPA (Bisphenol-A) in food containers, particularly for small children, and is supporting and sponsoring bills across the nation to get this dangerous chemical out of infant baby bottles, sippy cups, and formula containers.

Our reporting has been based on and corroborated by more than 200 scientific studies that show clear links between BPA exposure and increased risk of cancer, diabetes, reproductive, neurological, and developmental disorders. To date, BPA in children's products has been banned in nine states, the European Union and Canada. Most recently, China announced that it, too, would move to ban BPA.

Studies show that BPA is in the bloodstreams of more than 90 percent of the population due to leaching from plastic food containers, despite a rapid clearance rate. Therefore, assessing harm in humans is difficult if not impossible because most of us are exposed to BPA daily. Children metabolize BPA more slowly than adults so it stays in their bodies longer. They are, therefore, most vulnerable to the harmful effects of BPA.

That's why Consumers Union is pushing multi-state legislation to ban BPA in infant food containers and pushing the chemical industry to come up with safe alternatives to BPA, and we applaud those companies that have already done so.

Elisa Odabashian, San Francisco

The writer is director of the West Coast office of Consumers Union

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