Friday, April 22, 2011

Is BPA-Free Really Safer?

Image: Sura Nualpradid
One of my colleagues (follow her on twitter @electrocorp_air)  forwarded me this great article that asks a question I've been thinking about for years: What are these BPA-free materials, and who's making sure they're safe?

As a longtime AllerAir employee who spends hours reading up on chemicals, I was the first parent in our circle of friends who used stainless steel sippy cups, glass baby bottles and had a carbon and HEPA airpurifier in my children’s bedrooms. People thought I was paranoid, an “over-protective” parent, until the news hit about BPA. Now I’m everyone’s go-to gal on kid products and air purifiers for airborne chemicals, allergies and asthma. Yet, this quick switch to "BPA-free" plastics has me worried - do we really know what's in them?

Most consumers don't realize that under the current U.S.Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), a company can launch a new material into high-volume production without revealing its precise chemical make-up or any information about its toxicity. Just as surprising, is that neither the FDA nor the EPA conducts safety testing of these new materials. So it's not unreasonable to assume that in 10 - 15 years time we may be discussing another potential health threat from these “new and improved” plastics. 

What’s the moral of this story? When it comes to our own health we need to be proactive.  We can’t sit around waiting for the health authorities to tell us what’s safe – as they don’t have the legislation, manpower and money they need to scrutinize these products and companies.  Do your research, ask questions, write to your politicians and do the best you can to control what goes into your air, water and food. 

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