Last month the Food and Drug Administration reported that small amounts of BPA are not dangerous. But last week the National Toxicology Program, the federal agency for toxicological research, confirmed “some concern” about the effects of BPA in the brains of fetuses and small children. Many media outlets favored the FDA’s verdict and declared, “All clear – it’s safe to feed – sorry about any confusion.” The New York Times, however, stood on its own this weekend and raised questions about the federal mixed message.
The evidence suggesting that BPA exposure may affect early neurodevelopment is compelling. I have read the NTP’s findings and explored some of the original literature on the subject. The question that remains unanswered is: How much is safe? The FDA has suggested that the level of exposure in the typical baby isn’t a concern. The NTP isn’t so sure. Irrespective of Uncle Sam’s indecisiveness, it would appear as though the American marketplace is sorting this issue out on its own. Infant product lines in the States are evolving to meet the wishes of parents who are holding a referendum with their pocket books.
While there have been pockets of hysteria in the BPA dialogue, I am suggesting that parents minimize BPA exposure on a going forward basis. Since the primary route of exposure is ingestion, I recommend BPA-free for anything that your child will bite, chew, eat or drink from on a regular basis. If you must use a BPA containing product, avoid intense heat exposure through microwaving.
And as far as more practical guidance from the feds, I'll let you know if I hear anything...