Late last year, we posted some information about popular water bottles for young athletes and a potentially dangerous chemical in them called bisphenol-A (BPA). The FDA did not feel the evidence warranted banning the substance in baby and water bottles, but many consumer advocates did. After intense lobbying, it looks like the advocates are getting their way, as major retailers like Wal-Mart are pulling BPA based baby bottles off their shelves and water bottle maker Nalgene is phasing out the chemical as well (PDF):
A lengthy draft report from a part of the National Institutes of Health found “some concern” about the effect of BPA on fetuses, infants and children at current exposure levels. The NTP report is a model of thoroughness and nuance. Naturally, that makes it a flop in the court of public opinion.
With fear in the air, in the space of a few days Wal-Mart, Toy ‘R Us, CVS and others said they will phase out baby bottles containing BPA. Nalgene, a water bottle maker, and Playtex also said they will stop using the chemical.
The article goes into much more detail about the behind the scenes maneuvering. However, the reporter feels that retailers should not be making decisions like this, which I find odd. If people are concerned enough about the potential dangers of a product, for which viable alternatives exist, I see no problem in retailers dropping them from their shelves. That’s why the reporter’s cigarette question is a straw-man and misleading. There isn’t really an equivalent alternative for cigarettes. For BPA based bottles there is.
Good for the manufacturers and retailers! Why should we put our kids at potential risk when they drink from reusable bottles when there are viable alternatives?