Chicago might become the first place in the United States to partially ban the sale of products that contain Bisphenol-A (BPA), the chemical that some studies have shown may have harmful effects on humans. They’re proposing to forbid the sale of any BPA product intended for children. Canada banned the chemical last year, but the FDA has so far come down on the side of manufacturers.
A Baltimore woman is suing McDonald’s for negligence, after she says they served her a cup of kitchen equipment sanitizer instead of iced tea.
A new study from the University of Rochester shows that bisphenol-A (BPA), a potentially toxic chemical found in many plastics, can enter the body via non-food sources and lingers in the body longer than previously thought.
Discover Magazine has an interesting blog post about some consumers who were complaining that Victoria’s Secret bras were giving them painful rashes. When their lawyers bought similar bras and had them tested — they were found to contain formaldehyde.
those with the largest amount of BPA in their urine had nearly three times the risk of heart disease and more than twice the risk of diabetes as those who had the lowest levels.
Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have linked [BPA] to problems with brain function and mood disorders in monkeys—the first time the chemical has been connected to health problems in primates.
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is the chemical used in various plastic bottles and can linings that Canada recently banned, consumers in Arkansas, California, and Ohio have filed lawsuits over, and Playtex and Nalgene have stopped using. The fear is that it’s toxic—studies on animals in Canada have shown that it’s damaging, and some tests in the U.S. suggest it’s harmful to humans as well. Critics of the anti-BPA movement point out that the human studies rely on super high dosages that never occur in real life, and that making safety decisions based on the general public’s fears isn’t exactly scientific.
A new report says that the smell given off by new vinyl shower curtains is chock-full of dangerous chemicals, reports the Los Angeles Times. Researchers tested PVC curtains purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond, Kmart, Sears, Target, and Wal-Mart, and found that all of them contained “high concentrations” of what’s technically known as “bad stuff”—”One of the curtains tested released measurable quantities of as many as 108 volatile organic compounds into the air, some of which persisted for nearly a month.” Update: the report is receiving criticism from some medical and science experts, including a spokeswoman for the CPSC.
Barbara Flanagan of I.D. Magazine has a fascinating article about microfiber, a cleaning cloth introduced in Europe a decade ago that’s never caught on in the U.S., despite its ability to clean all sorts of things without the use of cleaning chemicals—”the product cleans surfaces mechanically, not chemically, by scraping them with microscopic precision.”
A woman in Arkansas has filed a federal lawsuit against Playtex Products over their use of BPA in plastic baby bottles, claiming that the company “failed to adequately disclose that its plastic bottle products are formulated using BPA,” according to MSNBC. The suit is seeking class action status, which would make it the second BPA-related class action lawsuit after the one in California against Nalge Nunc International (the makers of Nalgene bottles)—although the chemical is still not classified as toxic in the U.S.
It’s been about a year since Kelly Stiles’ feet were (somehow) injured by a $3 pair of Walmart flip flops. In that time, Kelly says her feet haven’t fully healed and she still can’t wear sandals or flip flops. She says she still has pain where she was injured.
It begins! A woman in California, no doubt under the expert legal advice of people who only have her best interests at heart, has filed a lawsuit against Nalgene alleging that they “knew, but downplayed risks, that a toxic substance in its popular…
If you’ve got a baby and you’re concerned about buying unlabeled products that contain Bisphenol A or BPA—which some studies have indicated may lead to adverse health effects in humans—the website Z Recommends has just launched a free text messaging service that lets you query their database of companies while you’re standing in the store. They’ve also got a printable wallet-card you can carry with you, which serves as both a cheat-sheet for the text service and a quick reference source for major companies.
An astroturfing group started by chemical supergiant Monsanto is trying to stop the spread of milk that’s free of bovine synthetic growth hormone. They say they’re trying to defend farmer’s rights but they can’t fool us, we know they really just want to make the future safe for large breasts. [NYT]
Earlier this month, several consumer groups announced that heated plastic baby bottles leach bisphenol A “in amounts that were within the range shown to cause harm in animal studies.” Now a reader writes in to tell us that companies are already starting to respond to the issue with announcements that they’ll be releasing glass bottles in addition to plastic versions.
Hey, do you know what’s in Nair, the creamy hair-removal product that smells like skunks? (Or used to—the current formulation is supposed to smell better.) Now, thanks to Wired’s “What’s Inside” article, you will! The active ingredient is potassium thioglycolate, a member of the thiol family, which not coincidentally is also responsible for the intense stink factor of skunk spray. Thiols “eat into keratin (a skin and hair protein), which is what makes actual skunk spray (and Nair) lock onto human flesh and fuzz.” Another chemical—calcium hydroxide—destroys the weakened hairs.
We weren’t really aware that there was a need for a law banning the use of mercury in cosmetics, but apparently Minnesota thinks there is.
Yesterday’s legal action in California against Apple over its use of phthalates may be the opening shot in a nation-wide battle between consumer advocates, health agencies, state and federal entities, and manufacturers of everything from teething rings to consumer electronics to sex toys. Although the ban (which will go into effect Jan. 1, 2009) is limited to California, “lawmakers in Texas, Illinois, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Washington, Maine, Connecticut and New York are expected to introduce similar legislation in the coming months, according to environmental and breast cancer groups that sponsored the California measure.”