10/10/2011 10:04 pm ET Updated Dec 10, 2011

BPA-Free? Not Exactly

The Bisphenol A story just gets bigger and bigger. Today, the Associated Press reported that the American Chemistry Council has asked federal regulators to phase out rules which allow BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups. Sounds good, right? But this request may "head off tougher laws that would ban the chemical from other types of packaging," according to the AP.

Not so good.

And last week, Chemical & Engineering News reported on a recent study that found people absorb BPA through their skin through coated paper products like cash register receipts. The study, conducted by New York state public health laboratory Wadsworth Center, tested 83 receipts from seven U.S. cities and found BPA in all of them -- even ones labeled "BPA-free."

Why is keeping up with BPA news so important to us at Healthy Child Healthy World? California Watch, founded by the Center for Investigative Reporting, published a pretty comprehensive answer last week when they reported a study released in the journal Molecular Endocrinology that found BPA may cause changes in breast tissue, predisposing animals to breast cancer.

Add that to a study recently reported by Environmental Health News, which showed gene alterations in newborn male rats exposed to BPA that had lasting affects on reproductive hormones when they reached adulthood. The takeaway? Yet another piece added to a growing pie of research that links the chemical to reproductive problems in animals -- including humans.

The frightening thing is when you connect the dots to another study reported by Environmental Health News last week, which found that when pregnant rats are exposed to BPA, levels of the substance are higher in the fetus than the mother.

So why isn't the FDA banning BPA -- along with food colorants and other chemicals that scientists are increasingly reporting aren't safe for people, let alone kids? The Atlantic Monthly just published an interesting summary of the answer, which comes down to two things: science and politics.

The Atlantic Monthly article also echoed what Healthy Child Healthy World has been saying for years: In the absence of legislation, parents have to do their own homework to protect their families.

And we have to take our concerns directly to manufacturers to let them know what we want. We're still collecting signatures on our petition to tell Campbell's soup that BPA in their cans is not "M'm, Mm Good."

Petitions like these got BPA out of baby bottles and sippy cups. Let's work together to get it out of our world.