The BPA controversy is fascinating – theatrical at times. It’s a phenomenon born as a web movement fueled by citizen journalism, mice with big prostates, a drive to go green and an evolving anti-BPA cottage industry.
Let’s meet the cast:
Those with BPA. This includes the chemical industry, product manufacturers, retailers and anyone else peddling hard, shiny plastic. Manufacturers are sweatin’ bullets at this point and the barbarians are at the gate. Reference the American Chemistry Council, Avent and our friend, Dr. Brown.
Those free of BPA. This is the rapidly growing BPA-free market. They’re also sweatin’ bullets, but in a good way. Product demand like this hasn’t been seen since the pet rock in the 70’s. Reference Adiri.
The investigative citizen journalists. While they represent parents they equally represent their sites and the wild upside that is BPA hysteria. If there’s a BPA-containing grommet on the inner lining of a crib wheel they’ll uncover it, disseminate it and proudly drive the product to obsolescence. While they may not understand the difference between a sterol and a steroid, they are the default guerrilla experts in the war on BPA (and I don’t know whether to love ‘em or hate ‘em). Reference Safe Mama, The Soft Landing and Z-Recommends.
The audience. This is everyone watching including pediatricians, parents, the media and unassuming grandparents who have faced bigger threats in their lives. For good reason they simply don’t know who to believe.
These are the players of BPA theater.
Everything passionate that evolves in BPA in media will come from one of these players. And in each case their positions will reflect their interests.
For the record I’m currently recommending a conservative position with my patients. I recommend BPA-free for anything that your child will bite, chew, eat or drink from on a regular basis. And as you might have guessed, I see anxiety over BPA in high chairs and crib wheel grommets as nothing more than theater.