Advertisement
Icon WebMD Expert Blogs

Being a parent may be the most rewarding experience in the world, but it's also a challenge. WebMD's experts talk about the job of raising kids - from diapers to dorm room.

Important:

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, review, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have... Expand

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Hide

Thursday, August 2, 2012

BPA: A Partial Reversal From the FDA

By Roy Benaroch, MD

Baby Drinking from Bottle

In a reversal of their previous policy announced in March 2012, the FDA this past week  announced a ban on the chemical BPA in baby bottles and children’s drinking cups. Still, their spokesman says the chemical is safe, and it can continue to be used in other food packaging, including packaging for infant formula. And they’re still looking into it, and they may change their minds again. Confused?

BPA is a chemical commonly used in the manufacture of food containers and many other products. It’s gotten quite a bit of media attention over the past five years or so, as many people have become convinced that it could cause a number of health problems in adults and children. I’ve written about the issue before, pointing out that studies have been inconclusive and that it’s impossible to be 100% absolutely certain about the safety of things in our environment, including chemicals.

With BPA, several studies do hint at health problems. The most recent one (summarized here) looked at children who had had dental fillings made with BPA, and showed small but real differences in their behavior as they grew. Ironically, the BPA-produced fillings were probably chosen because some people are afraid of the older, mercury-containing silver amalgams (which in that same study showed no ill effects.) The authors of the study acknowledge that the differences in behavior are very small and unlikely to be noticed, but it is possible that the effects might be larger in some children than others.

Because of public concern, most manufacturers had already chosen to remove this chemical from their baby bottles and other products. So the “ban”, in fact, just tells companies to keep doing what they’ve decided to do.
Science can be slow, and often there isn’t a 100% clear answer. People, I think, can understand that. The FDA still claims that the weight of the evidence shows that BPA is safe. I’m not sure that their partial ban is going to help anyone feel more confident about that.

Photo: Comstock

Posted by: Roy Benaroch, MD, FAAP at 6:51 am

Comments

Leave a comment

Subscribe & Stay Informed

Parenting and Children's Health

Get the Parenting & Children's Health newsletter and get useful parenting tips and health news you need to keep your little ones happy & healthy.

Archives

WebMD Health News