The announcement wasn’t unexpected but now, at least, it’s official. Health Canada has officially declared a substance found in many hard plastic bottles and tin cans a danger to children and the environment.
It’s called bisphenol A, a chemical often found in baby bottles and sippy cups. It’s been linked to breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men and a recent study by the advocacy group Environmental Defence raised alarm bells about the safety of its use.
But the declaration doesn’t mean items containing BPA will disappear overnight off store shelves. The ruling gives the public 60 days to comment, after which the government will have a year to decide its next steps. Those could include banning or severely limiting products containing the chemical in Canada if more information about its hazards surfaces.
Many companies aren’t waiting for that possibility. Some, including the Bay, Zellers, Sports Chek, Athlete’s World and Mountain Equipment Co-op, have already pulled the products from their stores.
“The writing is on the wall for this chemical,” claims Environmental Defence’s Rick Smith. “More retailers should get ahead of the curve and follow the lead of companies that have already stopped selling products containing this toxic ingredient.”
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Companies that have already banned BPA products:
Mountain Equipment Co-op, Lululemon, Shoppers Drug Mart, Home Depot Canada, Sears Canada, Rexall Pharmacies, London Drugs, Wal-Mart Canada, Canadian Tire, Forzani Group Ltd. (Athlete’s Word, Sports Chek) Hudson’s Bay Company (including Zellers)
Source: Environmental Defence