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Bisphenol A targeted in baby-related items

October 14, 2008|From the Associated Press

HARTFORD, CONN. — Attorneys general from Connecticut, New Jersey and Delaware sent letters Friday to 11 companies that make baby bottles and baby formula containers, asking that they no longer use the chemical bisphenol A in their manufacturing because they said it was potentially harmful to infants.

Although the Food and Drug Administration has tentatively concluded that bisphenol is safe based on a review of research, some manufacturers have said they would make bisphenol-free baby bottles.

But Connecticut Atty. Gen. Richard Blumenthal criticized the FDA for declining to take action after a preliminary study last month drew a possible connection between bisphenol and risks of heart disease and diabetes.

"Unfortunately the federal agency, the Federal Food and Drug Administration, has been asleep at the switch, in fact resistant to respecting the scientific evidence that grave harm can result in use of this product," Blumenthal said.

A preliminary study released last month by the Journal of the American Medical Assn. suggested that adults exposed to higher amounts of the chemical were more likely to report having heart disease and diabetes.

Michael Herndon, an FDA spokesman, said Monday that the agency was continuing to evaluate its risk assessment.

More than 90% of Americans have traces of bisphenol in their bodies, but the FDA says the levels of exposure are too low to pose a health risk. Other scientists, however, say bisphenol has been shown to affect the body even at low levels.

Letters were sent Friday to baby bottle makers including Avent America Inc. and Evenflo Co., and formula makers such as Abbott Laboratories and Wyeth.

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