|Mountain Equipment Co-op awaits government study|
17 December 2007 – A leading Canadian outdoor sports retailer has pulled its stock of Nalgene brand polycarbonate water bottles off it shelves pending the outcome of a government health study.
Mountain Equipment Co-op decided to remove the stock after customers voiced concern over the bottles, according to Canadian media reports. At issue is bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical found in trace amounts in some hard plastic containers and which is the subject of a federal health report to be published in May.
BPA is suespected by some researchers of leaching out of the polycarbonate into the liquid, and acting as an endocrine disruptor, upsetting hormonol balances in humans.
According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Yale researchers found that when BPA was administered to pregnant mice, it altered a gene responsible for normal uterine development.
The study, published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in January this year, theorised that exposure to the chemical could lead to infertility in people.
Nalgene, sometimes referred to as Nalge Nunc International, is a distributor and manufacturer of plastic laboratory containers and sports bottles that was founded in
The firm has addressed the health issue on its website: “ NNI does not consider any of the food grade resins or moulded products a significant threat to human health due to endocrine disruptors potentially extracted from these plastics.”
In order for the BPA to raise a health concern, according to the website, “it must be on the surface of the PC product and extractable in sufficient quantities. Industry research has demonstrated that the BPA contained in the PC plastic is not extracted in sufficient quantities to raise any significant health threats for humans in normal product use.”
The website also notes that in 1997 the UK Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries found no detectable BPA extracted from rinse water and fruit juice from baby bottles after 20 – 50 cleaning cycles.
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