December 13, 2007

Crunchy Types: BPA WTF?

Unsettling stories about Bisphenol-A are accumulating in my browser even faster than BPA itself is piling up in my blood. Or wherever it works its terrible, epidemiologically studied magic.

First up, Mark Schapiro, of the Center for Investigative Reporting, was on Fresh Air a couple of weeks ago. He talked about his new book, Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products, and What's at Stake for American Power. Even though he's from Berkeley, he's a happy smoker, not one of those hemp shoe types, so what he says about the US safety and scientific standards slipping behind the EU--and even China--must be true. Turns out it's not the little differences after all.

And if that doesn't knock you off your natural latex yoga ball, try this survey/study by the Environmental Working Group in Mothering Magazine on the presence of significant-to-alarming levels of BPA in infant formula: "all manufacturers use BPA to line the metal portions of all infant formula containers, including powdered varieties."

Actually, the powder thing is sort of a red herring; the real issue with BPA is leaching, and liquid formula that sits around on a shelf has nothing else to do but leach. The powdered kind doesn't act the same way, plus, mixing it with water reduces the BPA levels.

But is it a big deal?

EWG has found that one out of every 16 infants fed ready-to-eat liquid formula are exposed to BPA at doses exceeding those that caused increased aggression and significant changes in testosterone levels in laboratory animals.
Hmm, whatever the glassniks say, I can imagine at least a few people who would see aggression and testosterone-boosting as product features, not bugs. Look for liquid formula to be added to the training regimen of Ultimate Fighting fan kids almost immediately.

New Investigation: BPA Levels in Canned Infant Formula Poses Higher Risk Than Baby Bottles [ via dt reader sara]


Well I bypassed the whole formula thing in favor of breastfeeding, but I did use glass bottles (available on Amazon made by Evenflo) for my youngest once she was weaned onto whole (organic) milk. I do not in any way categorize myself as a hippie or an all natural parent but this issue seemed important to me and it was easy enough to take care of. Of course now that the cost of organic milk in glass bottles is now $4.08 for a half gallon we are feeling the pinch but knowing my girls get nothing but real milk makes it worth it.

As soon as I figure out a "Materials and Methods" scheme for determining Octagon Control in lab animals, I'll be filing my patent, thankyouverymuch.


I believe (meaning I'm too lazy to look up the links) that BPA lines virtually all canned food now as well as soda cans. more reason to eat fresh food and drink Mexican Coke in glass bottles. Thank you, Costco.

[yo quiero coca light -ed.]

According to the finely balanced reporting at, you're totally safe!! Phew. Thanks, American Chemistry Council.

(Side rant: It really pisses me off that there are people out there, knowingly poisoning my kids. Lead paint, BPAs in formula, toy companies running two production lines - one with phthalate-laden plastic for the US, another with safer alternatives for EU countries. Greedy bastards should all be shot, seriously.)

Anyway, once you're done getting rid of BPA, you might want to check your mattress for PDBEs... While you're doing that, I'll be moving to Sweden, man.

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