BPA? Big Pain in the A#$. And it’s poisoning our kids.

I give up.

No, not on the blog, although I know that’s what you’re thinking.  (Apologies for the lack of posts.)

I give up on trying to protect my child from toxins by being a smart consumer.  Ok, I don’t really give up.  But my point is that it’s impossible to do, which leads a lot of parents to stop trying.  For every pesticide-free food I find, O crawls across a park lawn drenched in pesticides.  For every toxin-free toy I hand him, he face-plants into our chemical-laden rug.  Even if I buy every product that says organic, formaldehyde-free, BPA-free, all natural, etc., etc., there are still countless products out there that aren’t even labeled.  There’s no way I can win.

Today’s neurotic mother rant is brought to you by a report that came out this week linking BPA exposure in pregnancy to behavior problems in little girls.  The study is far from conclusive, but the facts are clear: BPA is nasty, nasty stuff.   According to a non-profit called Environment California, “More than 130 studies suggest that BPA exposure at very low doses is linked to a staggering number of health problems, including prostate and breast cancer, obesity, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, brain damage, altered immune system, lowered sperm counts, and early puberty. ”  And now there is reasons to believe that we are exposing our children to it before they are even born.

So what that the study’s not conclusive?  It makes perfect sense to me that chemicals I ingested during pregnancy could affect my baby’s brain development.  But even if there isn’t a link to the prenatal effects, there is a clear link to its impact on children’s health, and buying BPA-free bottles and sippy cups simply isn’t enough.  You’ve already got my rant on toys.  And all kinds of cans and bottles are lined with BPA.  Even Earth’s Best baby food jars, one of the most prevalent organic options, is lined with BPA.

No wonder many parents give up trying.  Even if you spend the time and money seeking safe products out, you can’t even be sure the products are really safe.  Avoiding it is a serious pain in the you know where.

So why not a ban on BPA period?  Or at the very least, require labeling on all products, not just baby bottles.  If consumers can’t make informed choices to avoid exposing their children to proven toxic chemicals, shouldn’t the federal government step in?

Who’s stopping them?   It seems to me that the only dissenting opinion out there is the American Chemistry Council, a trade association representing the companies that make these toxic products.  According to OpensSecrets.org, they spent over $8 million (!!) on lobbying in 2010 and its member businesses spent over $2 million.

Now that I’m way, way outside the beltway, it’s easy to jump to the “evil lobbyist” conclusion.  There are lobbyists on all sides of an issue, they all give money, and the truth is that the political system we have simply can’t function without them.  But I can’t abide the protection of American businesses outweighing the protection of our kids.  American culture has denigrated to a lot of things, but can’t we all agree that keeping kids healthy trumps everything?  Strike that – I know we can’t agree to keeping kids healthy (see last year’s healthcare debate).  Can’t we agree that NOT POISONING KIDS trumps everything?

What’s a lover of non-poisoned children to do?  Here are a few things that will only take a few minutes of your time.


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4 responses to “BPA? Big Pain in the A#$. And it’s poisoning our kids.

  1. Hey, as Owen’s granny, when I read your blog, I applauded. Earlier I had been horrified when I read about BPA in the news that I may have inadvertently poisoned you and Des in the 1980s – altho’ my dear, you refused the bottle :)

    Unfortuately, is is the lobbyists’ green grease that keeps the politician’s pockets lined. They need a code of ethics and all lobbyists’ contributions to all local, state, and federal need to be reported.


  2. Hey Anne, thanks for the post. I am of course looking at every piece of plastic in our house and was upset to find that the organic applesauce from Whole Foods has the number 7 on the bottom! But, when doing a little more research, it seems that it might be that because it isn’t the hard plastic, it might not have BPA. I will have to look into it a little more.

    • Yeah, doesn’t seem like a fool proof method. I checked the Earth’s Best jars that have BPA in the lids and they don’t have a recycling # at all. More reason we need labels. Let me know if you find anything else out!

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