BPA reported in few children's products

Marla Cone/EHN
By Jane Kay
Environmental Health News
 
May 6, 2013
 

Bisphenol A was reported in eight children's products. Included are the dyes of soft toys sold by Triboro Quilt Manufacturing Corp. and Wal-Mart. Michaels Stores reported it in bracelets, sportswear, jewelry craft materials and fancy dress accessories. MGA Entertainment and Little Tikes found it in ride-on toys.

Produced in large volumes, BPA imitates estrogen. Laboratory tests by scientists have shown effects on the body weight, litter size and sexual development of pups when pregnant rats and mice are exposed. In humans, some research has linked it to increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and asthma.

“Because BPA is a reproductive, developmental, and systemic toxicant in animal studies and is weakly estrogenic, there are questions about its potential impact, particularly on children’s health and the environment,” the Environmental Protection Agency says.

Almost 93 percent of people in the United States ages 6 years and older have traces of BPA in their bodies, according to a large nationwide study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The possible effects on children, who have higher levels than adults, are unknown.

People’s exposure to the compound, used in polycarbonate plastic, canned food liners, some paper receipts and dental sealants, comes from a variety of sources. “Although most human exposure to BPA is believed to come from food and beverage packaging, less than 5 percent of the BPA produced is used in food contact applications,” according to the EPA. An estimated two billion pounds of BPA are produced annually in the United States alone.

The EPA, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences are reviewing the science related to BPA to determine whether it should be regulated.

For more information on BPA in products, search the Washington state database.

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