To be, or not to be, BPA-free

When consumer outcry got loud enough and states started their own bans, manufacturers stopped using bisphenol-A (BPA) in some baby products. In 2012, the FDA took limited action – no BPA in baby bottles, sippy cups and infant formula cans. Thus, the “BPA-free” craze was born! Unfortunately, products that boast “BPA-free” may contain bisphenol-S (BPS), BPA’s less studied chemical cousin. Bisphenols, such as BPA and BPS, are found in polycarbonate plastics in products like sports bottles (the hard, transparent stuff),…

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Phosphate flame retardants: Bad to the bone?

If you go to the CDC’s ToxGuide it will tell you that data suggest Phosphate Ester Flame Retardants are widely distributed throughout the human body. You’ll also find this: Normal human levels? No data available Biomarkers? There are no biomarkers that can be used to quantify exposure… Level in air? No data… Levels in sediment and soil? No data… Read ToxFAQs and you’ll find “there is not enough data” to determine if they produce cancer in humans (though increases in…

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HBCD is on the way out – but use of questionable alternatives will persist

This week, the United States celebrates Thanksgiving. But internationally, countries that have signed the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants have a different reason to give thanks: the amendment adding HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane) to Annex A (Elimination) takes effect today. Under Annex A of the Convention, countries have up to five years to eliminate uses of HBCD in plastic foam building insulation, and any insulation materials containing HBCD during that phase-out period will need to be labeled. HBCD is a persistent,…

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