(CNN) — Last month, China banned companies from manufacturing, importing or selling baby bottles that contain bisphenol A (BPA), a potentially dangerous chemical routinely added to everyday plastic products.
China joins Canada, France, Denmark and the European Union in recognizing that this chemical is linked to a number of harmful health effects like breast cancer, heart disease, obesity, hyperactivity and other disorders.
Unfortunately, BPA is still routinely used in hundreds of consumer products sold in the United States.
BPA became widely used in the manufacturing of plastics in the 1950s. Today, in addition to plastics, The chemical is used in countless consumer products, including the lining of canned food containers, cigarette filters, dental sealants, certain medical devices and the coating of the paper on cash register receipts. Recent studies have found that BPA leaches into canned foods — particularly green beans — from the lining of the can.
BPA is a known endocrine disruptor, which means it interferes with how hormones work in the body by blocking their normal function. This chemical is so widespread that it has actually been detected in the bodies of 93% of Americans.