Tuesday, December 23, 2008

CAP call to ban plastic tumblers (Polycarbonate, PC)

CAP call to ban plastic tumblers
By : Audrey Dermawan

CAP president Datuk S.M. Mohamed Idris
CAP president Datuk S.M. Mohamed Idris

GEORGE TOWN: The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) is calling for an immediate ban on the use of plastic water bottles made from polycarbonate in schools.

CAP claims polycarbonate bottles could have detrimental effects on the health of children as it leaches out bisphenol A (BPA).

BPA has been linked with health problems such as impairment of reproductive organs and tumour formation.

BPA is also an "environmental hormone" which disrupts the endocrine system of humans and animals.

Its president, S.M. Mohamed Idris, said here yesterday: "With the coming of the new school year, parents will buy water bottles for their schoolgoing children.
"However, they should avoid getting water bottles made from polycarbonate. We will write to the Education Ministry and other authorities to alert them about this."

Idris said BPA could leach into the content of the bottles through normal wear and tear, as well as exposure to heat and cleaning agents.

He said a study conducted by the University of Missouri in the United States and published in the Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives revealed that BPA could even leach into liquids at room temperature.

He added that another study, conducted by researchers in California and published in the journal Cancer Research, had found that many genes in non-cancerous breast cells exposed to trace amounts of BPA began acting in a way that resembled the gene activities in aggressive breast tumour cells.

The study results were designated as a "priority report", published by the American Association of Cancer Research, a leading organisation devoted to study cancer.

"The Canadian Health Ministry is calling BPA a dangerous substance, making it the first regulatory body to take the initial step towards implementing measures to control exposure to the chemical.

"In view of the dangers associated with BPA, CAP calls on the Education Ministry and other authorities to impose a ban on the use of polycarbonate bottles in schools."

Polycarbonate water bottles with the letters PC next to it.