It is clear that the government and scientists and doctors need more research to better understand the potential human health effects of exposure to BPA, especially when it comes to the impact of BPA exposure on young children. -- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
As the New York Times reports:
In a shift of position, the Food and Drug Administration is expressing concerns about possible health risks from bisphenol-A, or BPA, a widely used component of plastic bottles and food packaging that it declared safe in 2008. ...Scientific American also reported on this latest announcement:
But health officials said there was no proof that BPA was dangerous to humans.
“If we thought it was unsafe, we would be taking strong regulatory action,” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the principal deputy commissioner of the drug agency, at a news briefing.
Nonetheless, health officials suggested a number of things people could do to limit their exposure to BPA, like throwing away scratched or worn bottles or cups made with BPA (it can leak from the scratches), not putting very hot liquids into cups or bottles with BPA and checking the labels on containers to make sure they are microwave safe.
Reproductive biologist Fred vom Saal at the University of Missouri–Columbia, who has studied BPA for more than a decade, hailed the decision as a "monumental change. This means in the future we can expect more than just one or two flawed industry studies to be the foundation of risk assessments at the FDA."If you would like to avoid plastic food storage containers, you can see my prior posts, listed at the end of this one, for some alternatives. Smart2begreen summarizes the choices nicely: glass, stainless steel, ceramic, and polylactic acid (PLA).
And here's an option I hadn't seen before: Almedahls' herring storage jar, made of porcelain (with a plexiglass lid), sold by Huset, and shown at the top of this post. So the lid is a plastic, but the container itself is not - and it's sure cute.
And then there are these wonderful containers from Yoyo Ceramics, also sold by Thorsten van Elten - they look like plastic, but are actually ceramic. [via Apartment Therapy]
Acknowledgments: Thanks to Emily Berk and Kristi Miller Durazo for pointing me to the New York Times and Scientific American.
Plastic Food Storage: OK or Not?
Reader Question: Glass Food Storage
Update on Nov. 1, 2010: For even more information, see my latest post on this subject!