Report: Consumers, Manufacturers and Retailers Dumping BPA Plastics, Not Waiting for Regulators
Market Response to Public Awareness of Toxic Chemical Hazard Shows Advantage Goes to Businesses That Do More Than Regulatory Minimum
WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 15, 2008
As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds a major public meeting tomorrow (September 16, 2008) on bisphenol A (BPA), a new report from the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN) shows that consumers have already voted with their pocketbooks for less risky plastic products.
IEHN is a collaborative partnership of investment managers who manage more than $41 billion in assets and are concerned about the financial and public health risks associated with corporate toxic chemicals policies.
The new IEHN report is titled Public Awareness Drives Market for Safer Alternatives: Bisphenol A Market Analysis Report. “With increased public awareness of toxic chemical hazards, consumers aren’t waiting for government regulators to act before changing their buying patterns to products they perceive as safer,” according to Richard Liroff, Ph.D, executive director of the Investor Environmental Health Network.
The report analyzes market trends for companies that make products containing bisphenol A as well as businesses developing and selling BPA-free products. “What we found is that those companies with the savvy to take advantage of this rise in awareness about bisphenol A in products are making BPA-free products that are flying off the shelves. They are boosting their customer base and are doing very well,” says Paul Bailin, lead researcher on the report.
Bailin points to companies like Born Free, makers of BPA-free baby bottles, and CamelBak, seller of drinking water bottles that moved to Tritan from BPA this summer.
Retailers Wal-Mart and Toys R Us in the U.S. and Home Depot, Sears, and Costco in Canada also have announced their intention to shift away from certain products containing bisphenol A, according to the report. As IEHN report explains: “Companies monitoring emerging science and taking strategic steps in advance of slow government regulatory processes appear to clearly have the competitive edge as ‘first movers’ in the marketplace. Whether they are innovative entrepreneurs or old-line companies, they are grabbing marketshare, enhancing their branding, and otherwise prospering from public awareness of toxic chemicals in common consumer products. Consumers are not waiting around for the regulatory process to kick in.”
Several studies and reports have been released in the past couple of years linking bisphenol A to developmental and reproductive health effects. Other studies revealing BPA leaching from baby bottles and Nalgene bottles were conducted in Canada and the U.S. Health Canada has declared bisphenol A to be a “toxic chemical,” and the U.S. National Toxicology Program has said that BPA is a “chemical of some concern,” and could be linked to neuro-developmental effects. Scientists and health advocates in the European Union are asking that bisphenol A be added to the REACH “chemicals of concern” list.
IEHN’s report is available online at http://iehn.org/publications.reports.bpa.php.
The Investor Environmental Health Network is a collaborative partnership of investment managers, advised by nongovernmental organizations, concerned about the financial and public health risks associated with corporate toxic chemicals policies. IEHN, through dialogue and shareholder resolutions, encourages companies to adopt policies to continually and systematically reduce and eliminate the toxic chemicals in their products. As of early 2008, IEHN members managed more than $41 billion in assets.
Patrick Mitchell, (703) 276-3265 or [email protected].