TORONTO - Canada declared a chemical widely used in food packaging a toxic substance on Saturday and will now move to ban plastic baby bottles containing bisphenol A.
The toxic classification, issued in the Canada Gazette, makes Canada the first country to classify the chemical commonly used in the lining of food cans, eyeglass lenses and hundreds of household items, as risky.
"Many Canadians...have expressed their concern to me about the risks of bisphenol A in baby bottles," Environment Minister John Baird said in a statement. "Today's confirmation of our ban on BPA in baby bottles proves that our government did the right thing in taking action to protect the health and environment for all Canadians."
Canada's announcement came six months after its health ministry labeled BPA as dangerous. Health Minister Tony Clement said a report on bisphenol A has found the chemical endangers people, particularly newborns and infants, and the environment, citing concerns that the chemical in polycarbonate products and epoxy linings can migrate into food and beverages.
Baby bottles frequently contain BPA, used to harden plastic and make it shatterproof.
Several U.S. states are considering restricting BPA use, some manufacturers have begun promoting BPA-free baby bottles, and some stores are phasing out baby products containing the chemical. Wal-Mart Canada and other major retailers in Canada in recent months have begun removing BPA-based food-related products such as baby bottles and sipping cups from store shelves.
BPA Toxic, Canada To Ban Baby Bottles With It - AP