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Thread: [News] Chemical fears prompt MEC to pull popular Nalgene bottles.

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    Senior Member xtemujin's Avatar
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    Arrow [News] Chemical fears prompt MEC to pull popular Nalgene bottles.

    Here is the full article from Canada.

    Chemical fears prompt MEC to pull popular Nalgene bottles
    Dominique Price, The Ottawa Citizen; With files from Reuters

    Published: Saturday, December 08, 2007

    Mountain Equipment Co-op has become the first major Canadian retailer to stop selling products that contain the controversial chemical bisphenol A.

    Canada's largest outdoor-goods chain has pulled water bottles and food containers made of polycarbonate plastic from its shelves over worries about bisphenol A, which studies have linked to cancer and reproductive problems in animals.

    Among the products pulled from the shelves were Nalgene water bottles, the brightly coloured containers that have become a bestseller across Canada.

    It joins Patagonia as the only other major retailer in North America to take this action.

    Some North American researchers and environmentalists have shown the chemical, which can mimic the effects of the hormone estrogen in cells, can cause several types of cancer as well as developmental, neural, behavioural and reproductive harm in animals.

    Health Canada spokesman Joey Rathwell says the chemical has been categorized as a reproductive toxin and is currently being assessed.

    MEC's move surprised the sporting goods industry.
    "I guess MEC just got tired of all the questions," an employee at Red Pine Outdoor Equipment, a Nepean wholesale distributor, said.

    Red Pine, however, "has no problem with Nalgene" and will continue to sell the product favoured by students, sports teams and outdoor enthusiasts.

    MEC spokesman Tim Southam says the co-op's decision shouldn't come as a surprise. MEC has been following the polycarbonate question closely for several years, he said, during which time a number of the retailer's 2.7-million members have voiced concerns.

    But MEC's precautionary measure was based more on regulatory uncertainty than on members' complaints, Mr. Southam said.

    To his knowledge, MEC hasn't heard of any cases of polycarbonate-induced health problems. "This is where the uncertainty lies," Mr. Southam said. "There are no visible effects. The science is complicated, and inconclusive."

    Health Canada is investigating polycarbonates as part of its Challenge to Industry Program, calling for product information from manufacturers and distributors. Health Canada plans to release a report in May under the federal government's Chemical Management Plan, recommending which products to "phase out."

    The McGuinty government recently announced an expert panel will review toxic chemicals, including bisphenol A.

    Mountain Equipment Co-op was congratulated for its initiative by Toronto-based Environmental Defence.

    "The writing is on the wall for bisphenol A. When a product loses consumer confidence to this extent it's obviously time to move to the safer, comparably priced alternatives," said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence.

    "We congratulate MEC for this leadership and fully expect this to start a snowball effect with other retailers taking similar steps."

    Nalgene representative Tom Cummins says that, as a U.S. manufacturer, the Nalgene corporation meets all applicable manufacturing standards and will continue to ensure its products are safe. "Important agencies across the globe agree that there is no danger posed to humans from polycarbonate bottles," he said yesterday in an e-mail statement.
    MEC's decision on selling Nalgene bottles isn't final, Mr. Southam says -- depending on the government's ruling this spring, MEC members may see the blue, pink or grey water bottles back on the shelf.


    The Ottawa Citizen 2007

    http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/...a-5d39a4cd0733
    Last edited by xtemujin; 25th December 2007 at 08:53 PM.

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    Default Re: [News] Chemical fears prompt MEC to pull popular Nalgene bottles.

    The amounts of bisphenol A used in these bottles are so little, that the amounts released are even smaller......I think the chance of you getting killed by a car is much higher.

    HS

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    Senior Member xtemujin's Avatar
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    Arrow Re: [News] Chemical fears prompt MEC to pull popular Nalgene bottles.

    The Reuters version have the Nalgene branding omitted out.

    Canadian retail chain pulls plastic water bottles
    Fri Dec 7, 2007 5:20pm EST

    By Claire Sibonney

    TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's largest outdoor-goods chain has pulled water bottles and food containers made of polycarbonate plastic from its shelves over worries about the chemical bisphenol A, which has been linked to cancer and reproductive problems in animals.

    Vancouver-based Mountain Equipment Co-op became the first major Canadian retailer to stop selling products that contain bisphenol A over fears the chemical can leach from plastic food and water containers.

    "Inconclusive science and regulatory uncertainty presently surrounds bisphenol-A (BPA)," the company said in a statement.

    "For these reasons, MEC has stopped selling polycarbonate water bottles and food containers until guidance is provided by the Government of Canada on the health risks posed by BPA."

    The Canadian co-operative joins U.S.-based Patagonia in dropping the products because of health concerns.

    The chemical, which can mimic the effects of the hormone estrogen in cells, has been surrounded by controversy. Some North American researchers and environmentalists have shown it can cause several types of cancer as well as developmental, neural, behavioral and reproductive harm in animals.

    Industry says the products are not dangerous, citing studies from government agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that food and beverage containers manufactured from polycarbonate do not pose a health risk to humans.

    "Rarely has a chemical been the subject of such intense scientific testing and scrutiny, and still, important agencies across the globe agree that there is no danger posed to humans from polycarbonate bottles," said Tom Cummins, spokesman for Nalgene and Nunc Brand Products, which manufacturers the popular Nalgene polycarbonate water bottles.

    Besides hard-plastic water bottles, bisphenol A is also used in some baby bottles and the linings of some food cans, including most major brands of infant formula, according to a study co-released this week by Environmental Defence Canada and the Washington-based Environmental Working Group.

    "We have study after study showing that this chemical is toxic,... and there are safe and available alternatives that are affordable," said Aaron Freeman, policy director of Environmental Defence Canada.

    Canada's health department declined to comment before it releases preliminary results of a review of the chemical's effects next spring.

    "We are looking at as much research as we can to make a very science-based assessment," said Joey Rathwell, a spokeswoman for Health Canada.
    Norway and the European Union are also reviewing the product. Japanese manufacturers decided voluntarily to stop making products using polycarbonate plastic five to six years ago.

    (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Janet Guttsman)

    http://www.reuters.com/article/healt...BrandChannel=0

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