The Checkout

Update: Toys 'R' Us to Phase Out BPA Baby Bottles

Ylan Mui

It's still early on Monday morning, but Toys 'R' Us has already sent us two e-mails to make sure we know that it plans to phase out by the end of the year all baby bottles and other baby feeding products that are made with bisphenol A, the controversial chemical used to make clear plastic.

Straight from the e-mail from spokesman Bob Friedland:

Toys"R"Us, Inc. is committed to the safety of all its customers and is vigilant about staying current with emerging scientific and other thinking about ingredients in products sold in its stores.
While the FDA has not changed its position on the safety of products made with Bisphenol-A (BPA), in light of growing consumer concerns on this topic, the company has been working with manufacturers to phase out all baby bottles and other baby feeding products containing BPA in its Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores nationwide. This process is ongoing and is expected to be completed before the end of 2008.

I had called the company about BPA last week as I followed up on the our story about a draft report by the National Toxicology Program that found "some concern" that the chemical could cause behavioral changes in infants and children and early onset of puberty in females. At that time, Toys 'R' Us sent me a fact sheet saying that they offer a wide array of products, some made with BPA and some without.

Then I reported that Wal-Mart would stop selling baby bottles made with BPA by early 2009 in its U.S. stores. On Friday, Canada became the first country to ban the chemical. (In case you missed it, check out my colleague's Lyndsey Layton and Chris Lee's story: "Canada Bans BPA From Baby Bottles.") I got the first updated e-mail from Toys 'R' Us on Sunday, and another one this morning.

Meanwhile, the American Chemistry Council maintained that the products made with BPA are still considered safe and that "consumer product bans are not supported by science."

"The weight of scientific evidence, as assessed by Health Canada and other agencies around the world, provides reassurance that consumers can continue to safely use products made from bisphenol A," stated Steven G. Hentges, Ph.D., of the American Chemistry Council's Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group. "Consumer products made from polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, including products for infants and children, are accepted as safe for use, and used, around the world."

By Ylan Mui |  April 21, 2008; 11:01 AM ET Consumer Alerts , Consumer News , Ylan Mui
Previous: Bye-Bye Bisphenol A? | Next: Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Choice?

Comments

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wow ! Thats huge just like my ....

Posted by: john sphicter | April 21, 2008 12:24 PM

I wish they would take off the shelves not only baby bottles, but all plastic products such as toys, potties, feeding tables that come in contact with children and that contain toxic chemicals.

Posted by: Yuliya | April 21, 2008 12:55 PM

toxic?
are they really toxic to the level you think? just by touching? it's not lead we are talking about here and it's not to the same level of danger.
people are just scared because of all previous problems.

Posted by: andrew | April 21, 2008 1:01 PM

Why stop at baby bottles? Are we not all at risk for such a chemical? Think of the tupperware you use for lunches everyday. Its the heating of food stuffs in these clear plastics that react and cause the cancer agents to infect food products. There have been studies on this is past years- I encourage all to investigate.

Posted by: jen k | April 21, 2008 1:17 PM

Our government is a lot more concerned about the petroleum and chemical industries making profits than they are about the safety of our children. The European Union is way ahead of us on product safety requirements. Corporations there are not allowed to give money to politicians for their political campaigns. As a result, their politicians require these companies to produce safe products. We probably won't change our system any time soon, so just buy European products.....oh, wait.....the dollar's too weak for us to afford European products due to our government not regulating our banking industry. Darn.

Posted by: Joseph in Kansas | April 21, 2008 1:20 PM

Ban Tupperware because it causes cancer? As long as we're being excessively fearful, why don't we ban microwaves? And why stop at microwaves? Why don't we ban the sun, too? It's a thousand times more dangerous than Tupperware.

Posted by: Dinner McGyver | April 21, 2008 1:21 PM

No one is being excessively fearful... I think people are just trying to minimize exposure to potentially harmful products, and luckily we have other options. We need to rethink our plastic usage in general! We are poisoning ourselves and the planet with all the plastic!

Posted by: Kim | April 21, 2008 2:05 PM

As reported by the Canadian Press last week, the Canadian Health Minister, Tony Clement, in announcing the possible ban on polycarbonate baby bottles, said that BPA in hockey helmets, electronic equipment, automobiles, CDs, and DVDs "is safe." And further: "Based on our scientific assessment we can say that this is not a concern for most Canadians. And so, while we are on track to ban polycarbonate baby bottles, Canadians can continue to use hard plastic, reusable water bottles and plastic tableware if they choose."

This is not a "government vs. industry" story. Tony Clement and industry agree about the ongoing safety of using polycarbonate in many applications, including food use applications.

Posted by: Dave | April 21, 2008 2:06 PM

Ugh!

You're all making me sick.

Shut Up!

Posted by: SC-NJ | April 21, 2008 2:19 PM

truth is making you sick? or over scare making you sick?
yes, there might be a layer of chemical when making the new bottle.
Is it still there after you wash it over and over?
would it release more chemical when you use it again after wash?
(I never for one use any new product without washing)
does it release chemical when heated?
None of the detail of what is wrong is released and they are talking ban already.
what about the detergent you use in washing your clothers and dishes?
what about the chemicals in your kitchen....the tens of bottle of chemical you use to wash your bath tub and dishes and floor ....I think that is in even higher concentation.
what about the insect killers you spray all around your house? safe?
what about the chemicals you use to wash your car and you spray on your leather seat? what about the perfurm you use on your car and in the house?
chemical is everyone and I bet a farm every single one is dangerous.
but then again it make your life easier.
that's the trade off.
you want it safe? go back to stone age...
you still can get cancer or die from animals killing you.
Cancer is God's way to get you to die.
Everyone dies.
The earth's population is too high.
we are like overgrown virus...
Kill a few like war and disese is the nature's way of regulating our population.
Get on with your life and stop getting fear.


Posted by: truth | April 21, 2008 2:39 PM

just think of these morons whith PHDs who created these products without thinking of others but their own neck.

Who gave them their PHDs? How sad and dumb fools.

Posted by: human whisperer | April 21, 2008 2:51 PM

Dinner McGyver,

So are saying lets not care about lead paint, asbestos, dioxin, bovine growth hormone, MSG or any other chemicals until we shut down sun? I think you are not considering facts to base your argument.

Posted by: msg | April 21, 2008 3:06 PM

Do you have any idea at all how much BPA plastics are used in any hospital setting across the world???
You don't want to know.

Posted by: Faye | April 21, 2008 3:40 PM

"the company has been working with manufacturers to phase out all baby bottles and other baby feeding products containing BPA in its Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores nationwide"

For those of you that don't speak marketing, allow me to translate: While we won't admit it, we are aware that this chemical is most likely dangerous. We realize eventually customers will sue us for selling this poison. We will stop selling this toxic substance once our current inventory is sold and our pending orders have been delivered and also sold. Also, once the supplier has radically discounted the bottles and no longer offers us a price where we can realize an extreme markup, we will then no longer offer this poisoneous bottle for sale.

Glad I could be of assistance!

Posted by: Inverse137 | April 21, 2008 3:43 PM

I agree... lets blow uo the sun.

Posted by: Nicky | April 21, 2008 3:51 PM

how do we know which products contain BPA ?Is there a symbol on the bottles?

Posted by: k holmes | April 21, 2008 3:54 PM

The problem occurs when a bottle made with BPA plastic is heated, it leaches the toxin into the bottles milk. So please stop dragging all other non-sense into this IMPORTANT discussion. It seems commenter's are either on one extreme or the other, when a little common sense is needed. Not all plastics have BPA, so it is ok use non-BPA plastic in baby products, but since the American Chemical industry does not want to admit the problem with BPA plastics, people are starting to get suspicious of all plastics. Wikipedia is a good place to look for info on this if you are interested.

Posted by: NewDad2008 | April 21, 2008 3:56 PM

I have spents 5 and a half years at University doing biomedical science, and worked in the field for 4 years now.

My 7 month child is 100% breastfeed (no formula - literally over my dead body, I'm somewhat lucky to be cursed with an oversupply of milk).

Eats all homemade food. All made traditionally, I've only used the microwave 4 times on his food in the last 3 months.

His meat is organic and hormone free.

And he wears cloth nappies. Not because of the cost issue at all, but all the toxins in major brands. The only nappies he wears are Moltex bleach-free, reduced toxin nappies.

Paranoid? Two first class degrees say not.

I call my son "my experiment free child", let someone else experiment on there kid - not mine!

Posted by: Masters | April 21, 2008 4:01 PM

Polycarbonate bottles manufactured with BPA are marked with a "7" in the recycling symbol on the bottom. Like the Canadian Prime Minister said, the use of this plastic in non food settings is more or less safe, its only when its used for food, heated, and bleached, that the chemicals can, and have been shown to release chemicals that mimic hormones and effect development.

Posted by: CD | April 21, 2008 4:04 PM

msg - you critizie Dinner McGyver, and say that he doesn't know facts, but apparently you aren't really paying attention to the facts of BPA. The fact is that there are NO PROVEN facts that BPA is as harmful as the media is saying. They use the terms "may" and "might" and people exclude those words in order to contantly have something to blame for problems that have been around since before plastics!

Posted by: kw_FL | April 21, 2008 4:19 PM

Masters, I agree with your sentiment but didn't they teach you how to spell "their" in your post-graduate studies?:)

Posted by: C | April 21, 2008 4:24 PM

It makes me wonder why the problem is occuring only with new babies and not the ones born prior to 2008. All my kids turned out fine, then again, they were born 14 and 12 years ago before they tested for bpa. Does anyone know when they began using BPA?

Posted by: Joe | April 21, 2008 4:51 PM

"my experiment free child"...
yes, you might keep them from these chemicals.... what about bad TV, radiations from cellphones, school shooting, all the wireless equipment in your house, all the green house gas/exhaust he is breathing in...and may be drugs that he is going to take...So no
immunization shots for your kid too? he will probably die from even chicken pox .
you gain one and you lose one.
you use cloth...but what about the chemical detergent used to clean the diper cloth (2x concentrated?) home make food?
what about the hormons injected to the chicken or cow or pig.
organic food? still used pestisize.
Don't joke yourself. Every single thing you use can cause your child's death when you think about it.
his toy, his cloths,his food, the chemicals around your house, the air he is breathing.
You want nature, go to a Rain forest live like a monkey or live on the moon.
just put a bullet in your head will solve the problem once and for all if you are freeking out.

Posted by: mac | April 21, 2008 5:00 PM

Incase you haven't noticed, life expectancy is up in America. If there were all of these CRAZY BAD THINGS out there we'd all be dead.

I chalk it up to people need to have something to be scared about it, so they will pick something and preach it, whether or not science backs it up.

Posted by: Sam | April 21, 2008 5:01 PM

like my co-workerm he can eat apple for lunch all years and still got intestinal cancer. go figure.
Everying involves a risk. "oppounity cost" people. you use it becase the risk of getting sick is low and it give you convinence.
If you want to go crazy, everthing can kill you!
(radiation from the monitor is killing you right now from reading this post)

Posted by: yo | April 21, 2008 5:06 PM

your baby's chance of getting sick from BPA is way way less than him dying in a war when he joins the US military service
or got kill by a fellow student.
:P

Posted by: baby | April 21, 2008 5:09 PM

Even better, I should of mentioned I'm from New Zealand, Aotearoa. Land of the Long White Cloud.

Yes we have ideals, TV is only on for at most 3 hours a week? Use cellphones maybe 5 mins a week? No Wireless in my house, no pylons within 500 meters.

Yes we decided to give him his shots, although we don't immunize as much as in America. We don't have a chickpox shot here.

We double rinse the nappies in water.

Meat here is better than America, it really is hormone free and organic.

I can't do everything, but I can do my best. I'd gladly give my child every last drop of Blood I have, so isn't giving him good food easier than dying?

No one is freaking out here, in fact quite the opposite.

BTW, we don't have many shootings here at all? The latest attacks were with a baseball bat, and I think someone got stabbed :) Our police don't even have guns :)

Posted by: Masters | April 21, 2008 5:39 PM

For Sam...

Life expectancy is up for whom? The children today are the first generation in 200 years to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. I would really like to know the source you are getting your data from.

Posted by: Inverse137 | April 21, 2008 6:41 PM

Posted by: Sam | April 22, 2008 9:22 AM

For Sam,

BPA is synethetic estrogen. It disrupts normal hormone function. We know that from studies in test tubes and in animals. Of course, humans need hormones too, for their brains to develop, gonads to develop, etc. But we can't run controlled human studies on fetuses to test the full range of possible effects of disrupting hormone function, so we rely on these animal studies to predict harm, just like we do for pharmaceuticals.....

In any case, with hormone wreckers, you wouldn't expect to see shorter life spans,just more infertility, more fibroid disease, more breast and prostate cancer, more lowered sperm counts, etc. In fact, these are the kinds of chronic, hormone-related effects that ARE on the rise. We know that.

Posted by: David, M.D. | April 22, 2008 10:01 AM

If people live longer, but they get more cancer and undergo more chemotherapy, is that a better life, even if the treatment "cures" the cancer?

If people live longer, but they are infertile is that a better life?

If people live longer, but they pass higher risks of cancer or infertility onto their children or their children's children, is that a better life?

These are all problems raised by hormone wrecking chemicals like Bisphenol A.

The tragedy is that use of synethic estrogen in plastic or in animal feed is so unecessary. There are safer alternatives, our broken regulatory systems just don't incentivize companies to make or use them.

Let's fix the system.

Posted by: David, M.D. | April 22, 2008 10:08 AM

Great for BabysRUs having "our" best interest in mind. But, crib bumpers and quilts are a known and SIDS hazard and you don't see BrU pulling these from the shelves! Rather hypocritical or BrU don't you think???

Posted by: Laurie | April 22, 2008 11:03 PM

All of this just makes me sick to my stomach. We're letting political positioning based on scare tactics of environmentalists take perfectly safe products off the market. Wake up people. Every single product, plastic or otherwise, has CHEMICALS in them! Every single product has chemicals that leach out of them at some level. Just because a product contains a chemical, and just because it can come out, does not mean it is hazardous. Basic toxicology requires every chemical to be assessed against its "dose response", meaning how MUCH can cause an issue (which is something environmentalists seem to conveniently ignore). Every chemical can kill you; water can poison you in sufficient amounts. WAKE UP PEOPLE AND STOP DRINKING THE KOOL-AID!!!!!

Posted by: Don | April 23, 2008 8:46 AM

I am usually not one to "freak out" about things like this -- but I am 8 months pregnant, and I plan on avoiding these bottles with the "7s" on the bottom. I currently have Graves disease (a thyroid/hormonal issue), so when I hear that something is a hormone disrupter/etc. it makes me a bit weary.

I think this is a fairly easy way to protect my child.

Posted by: Facetious | April 28, 2008 6:26 PM

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