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Originally published July 22 2008

Large Retailer Pulls Nalgene Polycarbonate Bottles from Shelves Over Bisphenol-A Concern

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Two major Canadian retailers have removed clear, hard plastic bottles in the Nalgene style from their shelves, citing concerns over the health effects of polycarbonate plastic ingredient bisphenol A (BPA).

BPA is used to make plastic hard and transparent, and also in the manufacturing of resins used to line the inside of food cans. Laboratory studies have shown it to function as an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen within the body. It has been observed to lead to both reproductive and developmental defects in children and adults.

A panel of 38 scientists recently published an article in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, warning that "the wide range of adverse effects of low doses of BPA in laboratory animals exposed both during development and in adulthood is a great cause for concern with regard to the potential for similar adverse effects in humans."

While BPA has not been regulated in the United States, Canada's health service recently announced that it would conduct a comprehensive assessment of the chemical to determine if its use should be phased out.

Spurred by this decision and by consumer concern, Mountain Equipment Cooperative, a Canadian retailer similar to REI, announced that it would stop selling clear, hard plastic bottles at all 11 of its stores.

"We felt it was a prudent measure to take at this time, given the regulatory uncertainty on the one hand and the increasing concerns we're hearing from customers about BPA," a spokesperson said.

The decision was followed by an announcement from Canadian yoga and fitness retailer Lululemon Athletica that it would stop selling the bottles at its 57 stores around the world. California-based Patagonia Inc. was the first retailer to stop selling the bottles in December 2005.

In 2007, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 93 percent of adults and children in the United States showed evidence of exposure to BPA in their urine. Children had the highest levels of the chemicals, followed by teens. Women showed higher body burdens than men.

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