Monday, October 24, 2011

Better Safe Than Sorry

There is an interesting and major difference in the attitudes of Americans and Europeans regarding products. In America we let almost everything come to market in order to let the free enterprise system work and if there are any safety problems, well, those will show up later. Europeans take much safer (and wiser in my opinion) attitude and assume everything is dangerous and only allow a product to be sold if it's been proven safe.

This issue comes to mind again with the recent publication in Pediatrics magazine about the dangers of the widely-used chemical bisphenol-A (BPA). In a recent study it was shown that exposure to BPA even before birth can impact the health of a child. Preschool-age children whose mothers had relatively high levels of BPA during pregnancy scored worse (but still within "normal" range) on behavior measures. These behaviors included anxiety and hyperactivity.

Meanwhile the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to study BPA exposure.