By Laura Roberts
Exposure to chemicals found in plastics from everyday products should be limited, a group of 60 scientists has urged.
They claim that bisphenol A (BPA), the mass-produced chemical used to make plastics harder, poses health hazards and could cause developmental problems in foetuses, young children and pregnant mothers.
The compound is found in baby bottles, most food and drink cans – including those used for infant formula milk – plastic containers, the casings of mobile phones and other electronic goods.
In a letter to the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) the academics, who are from environmental, health and women’s organisations around the world, said that “many scientific studies are now calling into question the safety of BPA”.
In April this year it was disclosed that Mothercare still sells baby bottles containing BPA even though most manufacturers had phased it out.
The United States, France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden have already taken steps to limit the use of BPA in products.
The UK Food Standards Agency, however, believes that the chemical is safe but is awaiting the results of a report by the Efsa next month.
The new letter was co-ordinated by Breast Cancer UK, the charity, and is signed by 40 organisations and 19 academics, including 14 professors.