Legal Battle Erupts Over Whose Plastic Consumers Should Trust

In a recent story from National Public Radio's show "All Things Considered," John Hamilton raises an interesting debate that surrounds the plastics industry. He discusses the growing demand of consumers for what they consider to be "safe plastics," plastics that do not contain the estrogen producing hormone known as bisphenol-A, amongst a number of other similar chemicals. Hamilton writes that many studies have found plastics produce endocrine disrupting effects even if they didn't display signs of this before usage. While this information has been available for a while, Hamilton notes that the reaction that companies have given is what has changed over time, and says:

What's interesting about the legal battle, though, is that Eastman, a major chemical company, thinks estrogen activity is important enough to fight over.

That's a big change. Just a few years ago, chemical companies, including Eastman, were still arguing that BPA was safe.

Now, many of those companies have voluntarily removed BPA from products and seem to be going even further — embracing the idea that consumers want completely EA-free plastics.

In light of the US Food and Drug Administration's recent ban on bisphenol-A, one of many known endocrine disruptors commonly found in plastic, it is interesting to observe the change that has occurred in consumer habits. For the full story, as well as the audio recording of the radio show, please see NPR's website.

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