In January, 2010, we reported that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was poised to reconsider its neutral stance on BPA (Bisphenol-A), a plasticizer commonly used in the manufacture of hard plastic products, including toys and food containers. The agency expressed "some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate glands of fetuses, infants and children."
Numerous studies had previously linked BPA, a known endocrine disruptor characterized as estrogenic (that is, in its reactions and effects, resembling the female sex hormone estrogen) , to a variety of health problems, including chromosomal damage, increased cancer risk and, in young children, the development of brain and behavioral abnormalities, including ADHD.
Pending additional federal regulatory action, Massachusetts has already moved independently to ban the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups manufactured or sold in the state.
Manufacturers responded by introducing new, nominally safer product lines, including water and other bottles, made of alternative materials and prominently labeled "BPA-free."
Now, according to NPR, a new study has found that 70% of products made of BPA-free plastics nonetheless released estrogenic chemical residues into the foods they contact, in some cases in quantities greater than the containers they replaced!
You can read about this study here: http://tinyurl.com/4s6fh95
Why are we worried about this? Because children are our special concern, and we take with the utmost seriousness all possible insults to the developing brain. And, because we believe that no serious conversation about autism, its rise and its causes can fail to consider the role of environmental exposures, of all kinds.