Canada became the first country to declare the widely used chemical bisphenol A unsuitable for use in baby bottles and set a ban mechanism in motion Friday.
Health Minister Tony Clement and Environment Minister John Baird made the announcement in Ottawa, and said there will 60 days of public consultations before further steps are taken, the Canwest News Service reported.
The chemical also known as BPA used in polycarbonate plastic bottles and to line food cans leaches out and mimics estrogen in the body. Clement said that was particularly alarming in baby bottles.
"Although our science tells us that exposure levels to newborns and infants are below the level that cause effects, we believe that the current safety margin needs to be higher," he said. "We have concluded that it is better to be safe than sorry"
Clement said it was safe for Canadians to continue using hard plastic reusable water bottles and plastic tableware, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. He said in the near future, the Health Canada agency "will be providing some advice on how to use them properly."
Copyright 2008 by United Press International
Explore further: Smoking rates halve since 1970s in Britain