Toxic Chemical and Product Safety News for Investors

Headline stories are selected by IEHN staff from environmentalhealthnews.com's "Above the Fold" daily news service. IEHN releases annotated versions several times monthly. Headlines listed here are linked to their original sources and are subject to those sources' archiving policies.

July 30, 2009

'BPA-free' bottles leach chemical: study
Winnipeg Free Press
July 30, 2009

Health Canada scientists have found bisphenol A leaching into liquid in plastic baby bottles marketed to parents as being free of the toxic chemical. The study says "traces" of the toxin were found in "BPA-free" bottles while internal correspondence between a department official and the lead scientist went further, characterizing the amounts in two brands as "high readings."Manufacturers of non-polycarbonate plastic baby bottles, however, were quick to challenge the "shocking" results, saying there must be a problem with the way the agency conducted the research.

Government scientists conducted the tests on non-polycarbonate bottles last year after Health Canada announced an imminent ban on polycarbonate plastic baby bottles. By then, the market had already been flooded with "BPA-free" alternatives made of substitute plastics without any bisphenol A, which were pitched as an option for parents concerned about health risks. Bisphenol A, a hormone disrupter that can cause reproductive damage and may lead to prostate and breast cancer in adulthood, is used as a building block in polycarbonate plastic, but not in the substitutes, such as polypropylene.

Will nano traps make geothermal power earthquake-safe?
Scientific American
July 28, 2009

Cost and safety concerns have hampered the growth of geothermal energy. Now, researchers have announced plans to test a more efficient way to tap into geothermal stores using nanotechnology

EPA looks at effects of waste plants on minorities, poor
Los Angeles Times
July 27, 2009

The Environmental Protection Agency is focusing on the effect of hazardous waste recycling plants on minorities and low-income communities. The move hearkens back to a Clinton-era executive order that required federal agencies to consider the effect of their policies on disadvantaged communities. Under the Bush administration, hazardous waste recycling plants had a free pass to process more than 1 million pounds of toxic material without federal oversight.  

Are your children's toys safe?
Kalamazoo Gazette
July 22, 2009

The Children's Safe Product Act would require toy manufacturers who have products on shelves in Michigan to notify the state government of any chemicals present in the toys that are known to be hazardous to children, including lead, arsenic, bromine, cadmium and mercury.

State identifies toxic chemicals
Bangor Daily News
July 18, 2009

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released a list of about 1,700 “chemicals of high concern”— substances used in manufacturing common consumer goods that pose a significant risk to human health8

BPA may reduce fertility in lab mice
Chicago Sun-Times
July 13, 2009

Exposure to Bisphenol A, a chemical widely used in plastics, may impair the growth and function of female reproductive cells in mice, a new study from the University of Illinois has found.

Keeping harness on untamed discovery
Wellington Dominion Post, New Zealand
July 11, 2009

Nanotechnology could cure cancer, solve the energy crises and boost our economy, but will it take a catastrophe for the Government to regulate what scientists are calling the next industrial revolution?

FDA to reassess toxin in cans, plastic
San Francisco Business Journal
June 27, 2009

A coalition of investors and other groups representing $26 billion in assets has lauded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for agreeing to reassess the safety of bisphenol A, a controversial chemical used frequently in can linings and hard plastics.