Baby bottles made with chemical BPA banned

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 June, 2011, 12:00am


Beijing is banning baby bottles made with the chemical bisphenol A for fear that it may be harmful to infants, according to a government notice released online last week.

Bisphenol A, or BPA, is widely used to harden plastics such as those used to make water bottles and baby milk bottles.

The Health Ministry and five other state agencies ordered manufacturers to stop making baby bottles with BPA from today. It also required that all baby bottles made with BPA be pulled off shelves by September 1. The import of BPA-made milk bottles would also be banned thereafter.

The government said the extent of contamination from BPA-made food containers was extremely small and no evidence existed to prove such minute amounts posed a health threat. But officials were taking precautions pending more tests on the substance to protect infants, as they could be more vulnerable because of prolonged contact with milk bottles.

Mainland manufacturers and importers must recall the milk bottles, but the plastic chemical can still be used to make other bottles, food containers and food packaging, the new regulations said. The World Health Organisation says there are concerns over BPA's use due to its potential toxicity and hormonal properties, but studies are inconclusive. Some scientists believe BPA is a carcinogen.

In October, Canada became the first country to classify the controversial chemical as a toxic substance, and the European Union followed suit in March by banning BPA- containing milk bottles.