Walmart, Nalgene To Cut Back On Bisphenol A

Reacting to the news that Canada may classify Bisphenol A as a heath hazard, and following a new report from the U.S. National Toxicology Program that suggested BPA may “cause behavioral changes in infants and children and trigger the early onset of puberty in females,” Walmart announced yesterday that it would suspend the sales of all baby products that contain the chemical.

From the Washington Post:

Wal-Mart has sold BPA-free baby bottles for several years alongside bottles with the chemical. But yesterday was the first time the retailer indicated it would convert its entire U.S. stock.

“We are working hard to expand our BPA-free offerings,” Wal-Mart spokesman Nick Agarwal wrote in an e-mail.

Popular water bottle manufacturer Nalgene told the NYT that it would offer BPA-free alternatives due to market pressure:

“Based on all available scientific evidence, we continue to believe that Nalgene products containing BPA are safe for their intended use,” a company official said in a statement quoted by the New York Times. “However, our customers indicated they preferred BPA-free alternatives, and we acted in response to those concerns.”

Wal-Mart to Pull Bottles Made With Chemical BPA [Washington Post]
Wal-Mart, Nalgene Move Away From Bisphenol A [Wall Street Journal Health Blog]
(Photo:decaf)

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  1. falc says:

    so walmart will remove products that may be toxic to children but they have no problem still selling infant bibs that they KNOW are filled with lead?!? [consumerist.com]

  2. quagmire0 says:

    Lol. I saw the picture from this article then gazed down to my big green water bottle on my desk, which looks EXACTLY the same, save the Nalgene logo. XP

  3. FreeMarketGravy says:

    “Based on all available scientific evidence, we continue to believe that Nalgene products containing BPA are safe for their intended use,” a company official said in a statement quoted by the New York Times. “However, our customers indicated they preferred BPA-free alternatives, and we acted in response to those concerns.”

    I know it’s the job of PR people to toss nice coats of paint on ugly objects, but it strikes me how fully the veil is on the above statement which could for all intents and purposes read:

    “Gahhhh… FINE. I still think we’re right, though. *crosses arms and pouts*”

  4. ARP says:

    Hopefully the follow through and actually do it. Unlike the Nazy t-shirt debacle, unless there’s clear labels, it may be hard to know if you have the BPA free version.

    So what is a good alternative to BPA? Glass and steel (but no AL) obviously. What about the plastic “family?” Lexan? Polycrilic?

  5. Mom2Talavera says:

    Sigg bottles are way better
    [www.mysigg.com]

  6. jpx72x says:

    We need to get them after DHO, next. Plz think of the children.:

    From: [www.dhmo.org]

    “Although the U.S. Government and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) do not classify Dihydrogen Monoxide as a toxic or carcinogenic substance (as it does with better known chemicals such as hydrochloric acid and benzene), DHMO is a constituent of many known toxic substances, diseases and disease-causing agents, environmental hazards and can even be lethal to humans in quantities as small as a thimbleful.

    Research conducted by award-winning U.S. scientist Nathan Zohner concluded that roughly 86 percent of the population supports a ban on dihydrogen monoxide. Although his results are preliminary, Zohner believes people need to pay closer attention to the information presented to them regarding Dihydrogen Monoxide. He adds that if more people knew the truth about DHMO then studies like the one he conducted would not be necessary.

    A similar study conducted by U.S. researchers Patrick K. McCluskey and Matthew Kulick also found that nearly 90 percent of the citizens participating in their study were willing to sign a petition to support an outright ban on the use of Dihydrogen Monoxide in the United States.”

  7. Saboth says:

    @quagmire0:

    Yes I have an Eddie Bauer water bottle from Target on my desk, and it looks exactly the same…I believe it originally said something about being made with “Lexan” on it. If you check: [en.wikipedia.org] it states it is the same plastic and contains the same sketchy chemical in it (Bisphenol A).

  8. greenpepper says:

    Heard about this but never seen the facts. Is it any liquid that’s in the container or is it only reactive with some, how long does it need to be there before hazard is created etc. Is it dangerous to use for water with occasional hikes and bikes?

  9. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    I wish they’d state whether its just something that can affect children/babies or if adults are at risk from this chemical as well. All the Wal-Mart’s, Canadian Tire’s, supermarkets, dollar stores etc here have pulled all the water bottles off their shelves. I have 2 bottles I received as promotional items (one from a bank, one from a college) and I have no idea if either are safe, as they have no identifying marks beyond the company/college logos.

  10. rkwadd says:

    EVERYBODY PANIC?

  11. ElleDriver says:

    @greenpepper: Living in Canada, I’ve been following this story for a while. I work in a yoga studio, and we stopped selling Nalgenes and started stocking SIGGS over a year ago. As a part of my job, I’ve read a STUPID amount of information on this.

    Drinking cold or room temperature liquids from plastic containers presents a minimal risk of leaching, unless these liquids have been stored in the container for over a day. Hot liquids or heat in general tends to exacerbate the leaching problem.

    You may notice that when you drink water out of a plastic container after it’s been sitting around on a hot day, there’s a slight chemically, plastic taste. That’s generally not a good sign. It’s harder to tell when you’re drinking soda or juice from a container, because of the artificial flavoring.

    I would also avoid drinking out of old plastic Nalgenes or similar bottles, as plastic breaks down with age, and there’s more likelihood of leaching.

    Also avoid drinking from cheap aluminum bottles, as they also leach. SIGGS bottles have an aluminum exterior, but have a an organic lining that has proven to be 99.9% non-leaching.

    Stainless steel or glass bottles are also great alternatives.

  12. ElleDriver says:

    @Neecy: You can test whether or not the plastic bottle you have is safe is by squeezing the bottle. If the plastic is fairly flexible, then it’s likely a bottle that doesn’t contain BPA. Hard plastics are the main culprits of BPA. If the bottle doesn’t flex at all – like a Nalgene – then get rid of it. This also goes the same for baby bottles.

    Another obvious indicator is to look for bottles that have the recycling symbol with the number seven on the bottom of the bottle.

    But again, going non-plastic is the safest way to go.

  13. edosan says:

    I just wish Sigg bottles (the only bottle people are saying are acceptable substitutes) weren’t $20-30 apiece.

  14. akyiba says:

    Here’s the list of Nalgene bottles that have BPA.

    [www.nalgenechoice.com]

  15. BStu says:

    Yeah, but we still don’t really know what the harm is here. That’s what is troubling me. Do I throw away a Christmas gift I just got in December because of some unspecificed theoretical risk? I wish we knew more about how much is leeching into the liquid put into these bottles and what kind of risk that would present. I mean, is the level of BPA ingestion needed for problems really high? Some vitamins are dangerous in large doses. Heck, you can die from overdosing on water. The information I’ve read on this is so full of spin in one direction or another that I’m really not sure how to feel.

  16. brendanm14 says:

    so should i be throwing out my old Nalgene bottles?

  17. LumpBeefbroth says:

    I have a Kleen Kanteen brand stainless steel bottle that’s freaking awesome. It’s around 25 bucks online or at outdoor equipment store.

  18. autumnmist says:

    I bought a Klean Kanteen after reviewing the scientific literature on BPA. I love it and as a side benefit, it takes a lot longer to get smelly than my old Nalgene. Sigg bottles are an alternative, but the company won’t disclose what plastic/compound they are lining the inside of the bottles with.

  19. MadameX says:

    This makes me crazy. I looked FOREVER to find polycarbonate margarita glasses to use by my pool. All the acrylic ones I’ve found crack when you put them in the dishwasher. I finally found them and BAM! Now they’re toxic.

    Oh well. If I had a kid, I’d probably not let them drink out of this kind of plastic but I’m not going to sweat it for the adults. From all I’ve read, its much more of a danger to children.

  20. autumnmist says:

    Klean Kanteens are great (bought one after reviewing the scientific literature on BPA); Siggs are an alternative but the company refuses to disclose the compound they make the lining of their bottles from…

    We (the scientific community) does not know for sure the levels of BPA needed to cause problems in humans. It’s kinda hard, aka not possible to do experiments like “let’s give 100 people BPA and 100 people no BPA and then see how many develop problems.” However we DO know that BPA causes problems (like sex changes from male to female) when developing zebrafish, mice, and other common lab animals are dosed with it. Young (still developing) animals/children are always particularly susceptible to the effects of compounds like BPA.

    It’s even more difficult to figure out the exact effects of BPA on humans because it’s essentially impossible to find any control subjects… over the last few decades, BPA has become so widely used that there’s probably no one on this entire planet who doesn’t have some BPA in his/her body.

    What people don’t realize is that the way the U.S. chemical industry works is that they are allowed to start using chemical compounds without first proving that the compounds are safe (they just have to be reasonably “confident” that the chemicals won’t cause problems). Compounds are banned if/when they have been shown to be unsafe…. in other words, until someone notices that people are getting sick, these compounds are still allowed to be used.

  21. @akyiba: That’s not a list of bottles that have BPA in them – as a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure only the first of that list is made of PC (aka Lexan) which is the offending plastic. High Density Polyethylene (HDPL) and Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) don’t have it.

  22. Not Alvis says:

    Why are people so concerned that BPA is used to make PC? The BPA monomers are bonded together in long chains to form the polycarbonate. They’re not going to just fall apart back to BPA.

    Worrying about the polymerization spontaneously reversing itself makes as much sense as treating water as an explosive hazard because it’s two-thirds hydrogen gas.

  23. lestat730 says:

    And everyone was saying that it was the stuff in the beef that made girls ‘mature’ faster!

    Sorry couldn’t resist :)

  24. cmdrsass says:

    This is less about safety than getting in front of any potential lawsuits.

  25. whereismyrobot says:

    I won’t ever buy a Nalgene bottle again anyway, after dealing with their rude customer service people.

  26. marsneedsrabbits says:

    @brendanm14:

    so should i be throwing out my old Nalgene bottles?

    I can’t tell you what to do with your stuff, but I threw all of mine away.

    From what I’ve read, as the bottles get older and have been washed many times, they begin to leech more and more BPA.

    I replaced mine with stainless steel, which is nice, but costs more, often hold less, and is a little harder to clean. But they are BPA free. I have a couple of Siggs, a couple of New Wave Enviros, and a couple of Klean Kanteens for our family.

    The New Wave Enviros were the least expensive and are my favorites.

    Camelbak is now making clear, BPA-free “Better Bottles” They say BPA-free in the packaging, iirc. I may try to find one for summer, as I drink water all day.

  27. kyle4 says:

    @ElleDriver: I remember this taste a lot from growing up drinking from these. It’s like a plasticky taste. Shit. I’m 18 and male, what could have happened?

  28. Claystil says:

    @jpx72x: i was wondering when someone would come around with that old trick.

  29. Parting says:

    ”trigger the early onset of puberty in females”

    Now I know why current 9 years old dress like sluts and put a lot of makeup.

  30. ChuckECheese says:

    @ElleDriver: Plasticizers, such as those found in soft plastics, are also considered endocrine disruptors by the same people who are studying bisphenol a and polycarbonate plastics. I remember a study done by the CDC back in the late 90’s or early 00’s, where they found the amount of plasticizers floating through children’s bloodstreams was in the parts per ten thousand. The study was released then quickly buried. Time to start wrapping your leftovers in corn husks. There’s an ad on TV right now for mail-order med supplies and catheters. I sure hope we don’t have to switch to copper catheters.

  31. flipx says:

    How safe are the Tim Hortins plastic coffee mugs sold in Canada???? or any other plastic product that is heated.

  32. LibidinousSlut says:

    @Mom2Talavera: Sigg bottles are aluminum which means they have some kind of a liner because aluminum is reactive and also linked to Alzheimer’s. Sigg refuses to say what their “enamel” coating is made of citing that it’s proprietary, but they had to change it like a year ago when the BPA fiasco first came out because their old lining contained BPA. Laken is aluminum but at least they’re upfront about what’s lining their bottles. I lost my laken recently and I’m switching to a Klean Kanteen. In a few weeks they’re coming out in colors. Stainless steel all the way. Yo :-P

  33. Justifan says:

    confirmed. i got one of those $2.88 .5L frosted water bottles. my previous model was the regular bpa containing plastic. the new one has a frosted look that marrs more easily than the old plastic but is bpa free on the label:)

    good on walmart! cheap bpa free bottles!