The beginning of the end of food grade polycarbonates?

| Comments (3) | Gear
Opinion has been shifting against polycarbonate plastics for a while now, and now Canada has decided to ban polycarbonate plastics for baby bottles:
OTTAWA -- The Canadian government moved Friday to ban polycarbonate infant bottles, the most popular variety on the market, after it officially declared one of their chemical ingredients toxic.

The action, by the departments of health and environment, is the first taken by any government against bisphenol-a, or BPA, a widely used chemical that mimics a human hormone. It has induced long-term changes in animals exposed to it through tests.

...

The health minister, Tony Clement, told reporters that after reviewing 150 research papers and conducting its own studies, his department concluded that children up to the age of 18 months were at the most risk from the chemical. Mr. Clement said that animal studies suggested "behavioral and neural symptoms later in life."

Clement claims that adults aren't at significant risk (note: I haven't really reviewed the literature myself at all), but MEC and Patagonia have already pulled polycarbonate drinking bottles (aka Nalgene bottles) off their shelves, and Nalgene has already introduced a new line of bottles called "Everyday" which aren't based on BPA but on Eastman's Tritan, which is supposed to be comparably tough to polycarbonate. Also, according to this article, Charles Shumer has introduced a bill to ban the use of BPA-based polycarbonates in food and drink applications. Industry has been pretty actively opposing this kind of regulation, but given that alternatives are starting to appear, I suspect we've reached an inflection point where they'll just start replacing polycarbonate in most applications instead.

3 Comments

Has any harm ever been found from the polycarbonate bottles?

I have no doubt that the yuppies are up in arms about switching to glass because that makes Their Precious Babies more special than those ordinary babies who use plastic bottles and eat -- oh, the horrors -- non-organic food.

(p.s. preview broken)

I thought Nalgene bottles were HDPE (high-density polyethylene), not polycarbonate. Of course, many hike/bike water bottles are polycarbonate. In general, polycarbonate bottles are stiffer, more transparent, and more colorful. HDPE bottles are softer and milky-colored.

I don't believe HDPE is on anyone's hitlist right now.

Nalgene makes both HDPE and polycarbonate bottles, but they definitely make PC. All of mine are.

Leave a comment