The import, sale and advertising of plastic baby bottles containing bisphenol A will soon be outlawed in Canada, the country's health minister has said.
"I am announcing today that if no new relevant or compelling information comes forward during a (60-day) public consultation period, it is our government's intention to ban the importation, the sale, and the advertising of polycarbonate baby bottles," Health Minister Tony Clement told a press conference.
"Canada will be the first country in the world to take such action to limit exposures to bisphenol A, and I am convinced that the precautionary actions our government is taking are prudent and make good public health sense," he said.
Health Canada began reassessing bisphenol A in November 2007 after several animal studies around the world found much of the chemical was leaching from consumer products.
According to the studies, the chemical has been linked to breast, ovarian and prostate cancer even at low doses.
The US Health Department's National Toxicology Program said Tuesday in a preliminary report it could cause "neural and behavioral effects in fetuses, infants and children, at current human exposures."
Bisphenol A is a synthetic chemical compound found in some hard clear plastics and resins such as food and drink containers, compact disks, electronics and the liners in many metal cans.
Canada's proposed bisphenol A baby bottle ban comes despite the plastics industry's vigorously defense of the chemical, which has been widely used for some 50 years.