Slouching Toward a BPA Ban
Ten years ago, Sierra published one of the very first articles linking the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) to reproductive and developmental problems. At the time, the substance was nearly ubiquitous, notably in clear, hard plastic #7 water bottles. The story led the Sierra Club to quickly withdraw its line of polycarbonate bottles. Today, the field is dominated by metal bottles--although major manufacturer Sigg continued to use BPA in bottle linings until August, 2008.
(For more on hydration hardware, see "Drinking Buddies" in our current issue.)
Meanwhile, evidence against BPA has continued to mount. Frances Cerra Whittelsey, who wrote our groundbreaking piece, followed late last year with a short update on why the FDA is dragging its feet on banning the stuff. (She has a much more comprehensive version on her fine blog, The Equalizer.) While the agency dawdles, Suffolk County, New York, has banned sales receipt paper coated with BPA, and California is moving to declare BPA a reproductive health hazard (albeit at a high exposure level). With BPA-free alternatives readily available, why are we still using the stuff at all?
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