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Plastic Chemical BPA Declared Toxic In Canada

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the good-thing-it's-not-toxic-here dept.

Canada 168

Julie188 writes "The Canadian government has formally declared bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical widely used to create clear, hard plastics, as well as food can liners, to be a toxic substance. Does this mean that you'll be tackled by the Canadian Mounties if you stroll around with some bottled water? Not exactly. Being a toxic chemical doesn't mean you can't get a little love. The government will at first try and set limits on how much BPA can be released into the air or water by factories that use the compound."

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Yeah, whatever... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33920940)

They'll be saying that it helps to prevent heart attacks next. One minute something's going to kill you, the next minute it's good for you. Rinse, repeat.

But asbestos is fine! (4, Insightful)

dskoll (99328) | about 4 years ago | (#33920978)

So, our wonderful government declares BPA toxic, while at the same time continuing to deny asbestos's toxicity and exporting asbestos to the rest of the world.

It's all domestic politics. Banning asbestos would annoy Quebec, the major producer...

Re:But asbestos is fine! (5, Informative)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 4 years ago | (#33921016)

I had gathered that asbestos is perfectly safe and fine as long as it stays out of your lungs; it's a physical contaminant, not a chemical one. (Am I wrong?) BPA contamination has the potential to be much more insidious.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 4 years ago | (#33921042)

Everything not a singular element is a chemical compound of some sort or another.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921092)

But the mode of damage is physical (i.e. fine particles slicing up the inside of your lungs) rather than chemical (e.g. a corrosive reaction against your organs).

And, yes, it would be better if asbestos regulation in Canada was based on scientific risk assessment rather than domestic politics.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 4 years ago | (#33921094)

The point is that it's not something that's going to interact with your lungs in a chemical way. It's going to have the same exact effect as any other fine particulate substance when airborne.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (5, Informative)

fnj (64210) | about 4 years ago | (#33921338)

Not exactly. Asbestos particles, when inhaled chronically, lead to mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is not lung cancer; it is a cancer of the pleura which cover the lungs. Asbestos particles, because of their form and other characteristics are especially capable of piercing the alveoli and reaching the pleura. Asbestos particles are only 3,000-20,000 nm long, and only 10 nm in diameter (a human hair is 17,000-180,000 nm in diameter; a red blood cell is 8,000 nm in diameter). Only rarely does exposure to any other substance lead to mesothelioma. Smoking, and exposure to other types of particulates, preponderantly leads to forms of lung cancer rather than mesothelioma.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 4 years ago | (#33921812)

That really doesn't make it a toxin. That's a physical characteristic, doing physical damage to the lung.

You're right that those physical characteristics are somewhat unique, and thus cause somewhat unique symptoms, but that doesn't make asbestos a toxin. It's not some chemical, like BPA, that interacts on a molecular level, where that chemical interaction causes cancer.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

fnj (64210) | about 4 years ago | (#33921832)

Absolutely. We should all be clear that the tissue insult is physical, not chemical.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 years ago | (#33921942)

Exactly. It'd be a little like declaring a sharp knife to be a "toxin". A sharp knife can be very dangerous to your body's tissues, since it can easily slice you open, but it's not a toxin, just a physical object that happens to have a sharp edge.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

shugah (881805) | about 4 years ago | (#33922124)

There is far too much hysteria about asbestos.

My in-laws heard me mention that my house, which when originally built in 1910 had cedar shingle siding, was re-shingled in the 1940's with asbestos concrete shingles. My mother-in-law freaked out and became afraid to come to the house. This of course put me in a quandary. On one hand, because of my inherent arrogance and vastly superior intellect, I was compelled to inform her that unless I took a skill saw or angle grinder to the side o the house, the chances on any asbestos fibers, buried under multiple coats of paint (some of which are undoubtedly lead based) entering her lungs is somewhere around zero. On the other hand, if I left her in her ignorance ...

Of course I told her. I just couldn't help my self.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33922352)

Your definition of how BPA is a toxin is exactly how asbestos causes mesothelioma.

Oh really? (1)

arcite (661011) | about 4 years ago | (#33922358)

I guess I should get rid of my asbestos mattress eh? Oh well, I'm sorry.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33922450)

My grandmother used to make Asbestos snow men as they lived next to an Asbestos factory, whenever she goes to the doctor she has to tell them she doesn't have cancer as on her X-Rays it is all throughout her body. Hasn't killed her yet mind you.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33921048)

The problem is that it's very, very hard to keep it out of the air. Yes, as long as you don't breathe it in you're fine, it's just that it's very difficult to avoid and you have to be very careful not to disturb it.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 years ago | (#33921618)

Actually it's very easy to keep it out of the air. Asbestos is like glass, once you break it, you get explosive contamination of it, with shards everywhere. Otherwise it's a cheap, effective, and very useful material.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (2, Insightful)

cheater512 (783349) | about 4 years ago | (#33921864)

And how much glass is broken on any given day?
If glass was carcinogenic when broken, it too would be illegal to use.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 years ago | (#33921906)

We use it every day, it's called 'pink' or fiberglass. And it's just as dangerous as asbestos when not used with proper breathing equipment.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 4 years ago | (#33922292)

Thats what scares me. Fiberglass insulation was invented to replace 'dangerous' asbestos insulation, and of course, its just as harmful. Can you say 'failure to recognize the problem' ?

Re:But asbestos is fine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921142)

Molecules don't care if we call it physical or chemical. Come off it, man - you're posting such excuse at a nerd website?

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#33921066)

Nah, we replaced asbestos with poutine long ago.

Now, instead of killing people with toxic fibers in the air, we clog up their arteries instead.

Seriously, there was one study done on asbestos exposure to miners, and it turned out that the miners who smoked were 900 TIMES more likely to get lung problems.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921198)

[citation needed]
Tell that to my uncle who has Asbestosis [wikipedia.org] who has never smoked. He is a sparkie fwiw.
I can't see how smoking could be 900 times more likely to cause lung problems than asbestos unless you smoke your whole life, but are only exposed to asbestos once....

Re:But asbestos is fine! (3, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#33921430)

Synergy - the asbestos makes it harder for the lungs to cough up the fine tobacco particles, and those particles contain traces of actinides from a-bomb tests that will continue to filter down to the ground from the stratosphere to be absorbed by broad-leafed tobacco plants for another hundred years.

100 years ago, lung cancer was so rare that doctors would tell their students to take a good look, because they'd probably never see another case in their lifetime. People were smoking back then, but we didn't have both bomb residues and high levels of asbestos dust (asbestos brake shoes meant that pretty much everyone has bee exposed).

Re:But asbestos is fine! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921928)

Actinides (other than uranium and plutonium) are rare in bomb fallout. You are probably thinking of polonium.

Anyway, if biological fallout uptake were the principal driver for the relationship between smoking and lung cancer, then the dose-response relationship -- first measured in the 1950s -- should have changed by roughly a factor of two during the course of the 1960s.

One would expect both incidence and mortality of lung cancer to be rarer in Europe and the US prior the 1930s because mortality from other causes was higher. Furthermore, cigarette smoking became much more popular in the early 1900s, perhaps corresponding with the rise of the cinema. It's not that people didn't smoke tobacco before then... but they were almost always pipe-smokers.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#33922002)

The dose-response relationship wouldn't change much if it's non-linear..

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

socsoc (1116769) | about 4 years ago | (#33921438)

How much time did your electrician uncle spend in mines?

Re:But asbestos is fine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921270)

Asbestos is an incredibly good insulator and offers superior fire resistance. It's still used for certain applications where nothing else is as good. As long as it's not airborne it poses no health risks.

In fact a lot of the asbestos fear is overreaction. There are many other things that are available for breathing that are more toxic. Not that you want to breath any asbestos but it's not like it's a poison or something.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (4, Funny)

macraig (621737) | about 4 years ago | (#33921288)

Political asbestos maneuverings are indeed serpentine, aren't they?

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

sunfly (1248694) | about 4 years ago | (#33921512)

Asbestos is still used in many industrial applications that supposedly do not release the substance into the air, such as gas pipeline gaskets.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

DirtyCanuck (1529753) | about 4 years ago | (#33921514)

I think the reason for the BPA toxic classification stems from the Canadian governments agenda to use Maple Syrup as an alternative in plastic manufacturing.

I would expect similar measures put on the manufacturing of Asbestos following a solid breakthrough in the research and development of maplebestos.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921614)

I'm a Canadian,
living in Ottawa actually.

They just found asbestos in my building, didn't tell us about it. Only found out because of the hazard signs around but received no notice about it.

Thank god I'm moving in the next couple weeks, everybody else left already.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

SECProto (790283) | about 4 years ago | (#33921658)

There are actually two major types of asbestos - one that is very dangerous when particles enter the lungs, the other is much much less so. The first type is mined mainly in FSR, while the second type is the kind produced in Quebec. The whole asbestos thing was WAY overblown by the public and media who jump and shout "OMG ASBESTOS !!@~ " and sensationalize it ... like almost everything else they touch.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

Lucky75 (1265142) | about 4 years ago | (#33921690)

Asbestos isn't normally ingested, and you normally don't come in contact with insulation.

Re:But asbestos is fine! (1)

geogob (569250) | about 4 years ago | (#33922678)

The problem with asbestos is not the material itself. It was how it was used and the conditions in which it was produced. The ban and fear of asbestos was purely emotional and political. Of course, I agree that it still requires proper toxicity and hazard classification to ensure proper handling. I do not know the current status of asbestos regarding hazardous material classification.

A nice parallel we could make is the one with lead, although lead is much more dangerous than asbestos. It has some very important application and can be very useful although it has been shown to be dangerous. Thus it has been banned from certain specific applications (fuel, plastics for toys, paint, etc.).

Similar measures should be taken with asbestos, that is, identify problematic applications and regulate to limit those applications. But for some reason, the political playground pushed for a total ban of the product, regardless of its handling, usage or type (because, yes, there are different types of asbestos having different effects when exposed to it). A global fear of asbestos has been induced in the society, and I believe that your post and the way you present asbestos in this discussion is yet another symptom of this global fear.

Sweet! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33920980)

This means more for us in the United States! Suck it, Canada!

The rest of the world needs to follow suit (5, Informative)

janvo (639733) | about 4 years ago | (#33920994)

This is definitely a step in the right direction. BPA is a risk to the entire population and it's use is very widespread. It disrupts our hormonal system and has now been linked to different types of breast cancer, heart disease and endocrine disorders. It also affects our reproductive systems. People really need to be aware that the use of plastics containing BPA is harmful and that use of this substance is currently ubiquitous throughout the world.

yes state-owned enterprises will get right on that (1)

hildi (868839) | about 4 years ago | (#33921040)

they will put it right up there with 'hurting our GDP growth, endangering our stranglehold on political power, and destroying the economic power base of the Party leadership' uh huh.

Re:yes state-owned enterprises will get right on t (1)

janvo (639733) | about 4 years ago | (#33921086)

lol, I understand what you're saying and I completely agree with you that there are very few corporations (state owned or not) that will act on their own accord for the 'world's' benefit. The power here though is really with the consumer. I for example do not purchase any plastics that have BPA in them, if i have a choice. There are more and more private enterprises that are manufacturing BPA free plastics as they see demand increasing. I hope the trend continues.

people who buy canned food (1)

hildi (868839) | about 4 years ago | (#33921100)

are not going to care about BPA.. they are too worried about how to buy any food at all. (note inside of cans is lined with BPA and prices WILL GO UP if it is changed. go up as in, consumers will stop buying it because the main point of buying it is low price and speed of preparation)

Re:people who buy canned food (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 years ago | (#33921148)

(note inside of cans is lined with BPA and prices WILL GO UP if it is changed. go up as in, consumers will stop buying it because the main point of buying it is low price and speed of preparation)

Non-BPA cans are barely more expensive. If consumers don't buy canned food because it's a cent more expensive then good riddance, it's mostly crap anyway.

evidence plz (1)

hildi (868839) | about 4 years ago | (#33921186)

i admit i have no evidence for my statement, other than 1. industry PR and 2. the only non-BPA canned beans are an organic brand ,,, but its organic so the price difference could be the organic-ness not the bpa-free-ness

Thermal Receipts have the most BPA (2, Interesting)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 4 years ago | (#33921574)

Oddly enough Thermal Receipts have the most BPA. Something like a 1000 x as much as you would get from a water bottle.

If you get a receipt and then eat your burger is the receipt a food product regulated in the same way you might regulate a plastic fork?

In Canada regulation will all depend on if the receipt paper is made in Quebec or near Ottawa.

Re:Thermal Receipts have the most BPA (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921688)

Not all.

Some, notably from Appleton Papers, contains BP-S, another form of Bisphenol without the complications.

Re:Thermal Receipts have the most BPA (1)

janvo (639733) | about 4 years ago | (#33921758)

Good to know, thanks for the info! This is the kind of information consumers to need to be aware of.

Re:Thermal Receipts have the most BPA (3, Funny)

baegucb (18706) | about 4 years ago | (#33922006)

Oddly enough, I usually don't eat the receipt.

Re:Thermal Receipts have the most BPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33922338)

In the past I have squirted ketchup onto the receipt when there weren't any paper cups available.

Re:The rest of the world needs to follow suit (1)

BitterOak (537666) | about 4 years ago | (#33921708)

It also affects our reproductive systems. People really need to be aware that the use of plastics containing BPA is harmful and that use of this substance is currently ubiquitous throughout the world.

Given that our world is overpopulated, and the population is growing rapidly, would it really be such a bad thing if our reproductive systems were dampened a little? And I actually am not trying to be funny here. I'm somewhat half serious. Would mankind be better off if we started having fewer babies?

Re:The rest of the world needs to follow suit (1)

janvo (639733) | about 4 years ago | (#33921746)

The argument as to whether mankind would be better off with more or less population growth is a whole other thread. Either way, our population needs to be healthy. Chemicals such as BPA not only contribute to our poor health (think of the impact on healthcare costs) but may also affect the planet in adverse ways (who knows how many countless species may also be affected by BPA). We all know there are many examples of chemicals being released that have devastating affects on the ecosystem and that isn't good for anyone, regardless of our views on population growth.

Re:The rest of the world needs to follow suit (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 years ago | (#33921958)

Not this way. The parent said BPA "has now been linked to different types of breast cancer, heart disease and endocrine disorders." Any benefit you might get from slowing reproduction down a little will be much more than made up for by these other health problems.

If you want to find some insidious chemical to limit reproduction, find something that doesn't hurt peoples' health in other ways. We need a population that is stable, yet healthy. We spend way too much on healthcare as it is, as a society.

Re:The rest of the world needs to follow suit (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 4 years ago | (#33922026)

We already do have fewer babies. Birthrates in almost all of the western world (Europe, Canada, and the US) are below replacement rate. The only reason the above countries are experiencing population growth is immigration. Some countries, such as Germany, Japan, and Russia, are currently experiencing negative population growth.

Re:The rest of the world needs to follow suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33922528)

+5 Informative. Notes:

And I actually am not trying to be funny here. I'm somewhat half serious. Would mankind be better off if we started having fewer babies?

The only reason the above countries are experiencing population growth is immigration. Some countries, such as Germany, Japan, and Russia, are currently experiencing negative population growth.

Re:The rest of the world needs to follow suit (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | about 4 years ago | (#33922024)

I just hope that there's a decent alternative to it. Lead-free solder didn't work out quite like the leaded stuff. However, from what I understand (and I may be wrong), BPA is only released from plastics when heated past a certain point. As such, a water bottle isn't going to hurt you unless you leave it baking in your car all day. Dishwashers are probably fine as they're rinsing the things out when the bottles are heated, so you'd have very little BPA left when it was done. I think the big concern was baby bottles as they are often heated in a pot when warming milk.

Travel to any developing country (2, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | about 4 years ago | (#33922366)

and you will find their sewage ducts, waterways, roadsides, well...everywhere actually choked with BPA plastic bags and food containers. Standard practice is to just burn the stuff, but it usually causes localized flooding disease first. Oh yea, the ocean is full of the stuff too. Aren't we humans a wonderful species?

Glass Brita Pitcher!? (1)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about 4 years ago | (#33920996)

I hope Brita comes out with a glass pitcher...

Re:Glass Brita Pitcher!? (4, Informative)

pz (113803) | about 4 years ago | (#33921050)

I hope Brita comes out with a glass pitcher...

I'm pretty certain they'll come out with a BPA-free plastic version instead, since that's all the rage in bottles and food containers for infants.

Personally, I'd be happy to have a world free of BPA. Unfortunately, that's going to be very difficult as it's found in many common items. For some, there are plastics that are good alternatives, but others, it will be some time before alternates can be found. In particular, epoxy binders used wood-based sheet goods production (particle board, chip board, flooring, etc.) are bad and are going to be around for a long time since there is so much of it installed.

My family and I have stopped eating anything that comes in a can. Not only are cans typically lined with BPA-bearing plastics, but the contents are in intimate contact for a very long time. Avoiding canned foods has been pretty easy with one exception: canned tomatoes. If anyone has a good solution for those, I'd love to hear it.

Re:Glass Brita Pitcher!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921064)

Avoiding canned foods has been pretty easy with one exception: canned tomatoes. If anyone has a good solution for those, I'd love to hear it.

Tomatoes in jars or passata (rustica if you enjoy the pips).

Re:Glass Brita Pitcher!? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921114)

It's really okay. BPA doesn't magically take itself out of the plywood, crawl along the carpet and jump on your bed to attack your sore vagina. In fact, even the few well designed studies which do link BPA to other problems don't show a significant reason for concern. However, if you're the type who will let your child die of whooping cough for the bullshit fear of autism, keep voting for Al Gore.

Re:Glass Brita Pitcher!? (1)

minor_deity (1176695) | about 4 years ago | (#33921122)

Fresh tomatoes are an excellent alternative to canned tomatoes. If you need to get the skin off then boil some water, and then drop the tomatoes in for 30s or so, the skin will peel right off after they cool a bit.

Re:Glass Brita Pitcher!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921220)

Can the tomatoes yourself into glass jars. It's easy and fun! Make sure to add a bit of acid (or test the pH), some older canning recipes are calibrated for older tomatoes, which were more acidic.

Re:Glass Brita Pitcher!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921250)

All Brita pitchers and filters are already BPA free. They always have been.

Re:Glass Brita Pitcher!? (5, Informative)

adonoman (624929) | about 4 years ago | (#33921294)

You'd have have a bigger reduction of BPA intake by making sure you wash your hand every time you handle a thermal printed receipt. [sciencenews.org]

Re:Glass Brita Pitcher!? (1)

socsoc (1116769) | about 4 years ago | (#33921450)

Canned tomatoes? Have your taste buds fallen off? Can em yourself in jars if you're planning for some nuclear winter.

Re:Glass Brita Pitcher!? (1)

pz (113803) | about 4 years ago | (#33921570)

Canned tomatoes? Have your taste buds fallen off? Can em yourself in jars if you're planning for some nuclear winter.

I cook. A lot. About 5-6 dinners per week for my family (yes, married with kid --- geeks can get lucky) plus lunches on weekends. Many recipes work best with canned tomatoes, and tomato paste. Tomato pasta sauce would be an alternative, since it's nominally available in glass jars still, but what we've been able to find in our area is a lot more than just tomatoes so can't be used in many recipes. That is, unless you want your chicken cacciatore, briam, or arni kokkinisto to taste like pasta sauce (hint: you probably don't). It's possible, although difficult, to find tomato paste in glass jars, but I haven't found a good alternative for canned tomatoes.

And we do grow our own fresh tomatoes, but since our access to arable land is limited to a few pots on the balcony, the yield isn't high enough to create a stock for the rest of the year. Next summer, though, I'm going to try to buy a boatload of tomatoes from the good organic farm we recently found and try canning our own sauce for the off season. But that doesn't solve the problem for this fall-through-spring.

Re:Glass Brita Pitcher!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921936)

What? Why can't you buy fresh tomatoes all year?

Re:Glass Brita Pitcher!? (1)

socsoc (1116769) | about 4 years ago | (#33922094)

Here's a protip: you are way less cool than you think you are. Recipes with canned ingredients and everything. Although it sounds like you've already arrived at my suggestion, so thanks for coming out.

I'll continue buying tomatoes of varying freshness from CSA to farmer market to nice grocery store to ghetto grocery store all season till they repeat per your enlightened holy schedule... And 90% will rot before I use em.

Re:Glass Brita Pitcher!? (1)

Nursie (632944) | about 4 years ago | (#33922160)

Ignore the weirdos, normal people use canned tomatoes all the time. In the UK you can now get chopped tomatoes in cardboard cartons, so that's one option if you can find that. Also lookout for Passata and/or sugocasa, usually in large glass jars though may cost a little more.

Re:Glass Brita Pitcher!? (1)

worf_mo (193770) | about 4 years ago | (#33922680)

It's possible, although difficult, to find tomato paste in glass jars, but I haven't found a good alternative for canned tomatoes.

Here in Italy you can buy tomatoes in glass bottles or jars from a variety of brands and with differing consistency (from a very liquid sauce to little cubes), and usually they contain tomato only, no extra ingredients or flavoring. You can look for "salsa di pomodoro", "passata di pomodoro" or "pomodori pelati" on amazon.com to get an idea. Hopefully you can find some similar local products from your area until you get the chance to make your own.

We usually make our own once a year and keep them in jars, a year's supply for three families. A piece of goat cheese, some tomato from the jar and a bit of olive oil on top, what more could you want. :)

Re:Glass Brita Pitcher!? (2, Interesting)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 4 years ago | (#33921604)

One other major use of BPA you may not know about is as a coating on sales slips. BPA is easily absorbed from these coatings just by handling them without gloves. For shoppers, the exposure is not much, but for someone working a cash register all day, it's a problem.

The sickest part of all this is that we guessed BPA could be trouble as far back as the 1930s! It's frightening how special interests have managed to keep these rather important safety questions from being answered for almost 80 years. BPA could be one of the reasons for the current obesity and diabetes epidemic.

Today, we're still being just as foolish. "Doubt is our product". One wonders if we're doomed when you look around and see that far from Big Tobacco's program to sow doubt and confusion having become the canonical example of unethical, immoral, and stupid behavior, it is actually rather admired and emulated! The Climate Change deniers look to Big Tobacco's efforts for inspiration. Lately, those finance guys who needed a huge bailout from the public have been trotting out the same sort of excuses about how no one could have known. They're supposed to be the savvy sophisticated experts, but never mind that. They did know, and everyone knows it. Their claims that they couldn't know are pathetic. Yet so far, they are being allowed to get away with it, and that is in no small part because of the constant war being waged upon facts and science. And the constant diversion of our attention to other matters such as war and piracy. If I understand the bargain made with Mozilo, he will not see any jail time, and I fear he was let off way too easily.

I don't know what reforms we can make to change all this. Shine more "light of day" on everything? But we have a huge amount of deliberately created confusion over just what is right and wrong, and what wrongs are important and what aren't. Potheads do time while so-called white collar crooks walk free. Baseball players get grilled by Congress for steroid use while big corporations slide by for much worse things, or even get a few apologies as BP did! Perhaps the problem is that too many students pass through our education system failing to really get science, so that they are easily befuddled by nonsense? Or are too sheltered and come out naive and ripe for fleecing and hustling? Or are spoiled and careless, easily diverted with bread and circuses? Or have been corrupted and made cynical, and think that there isn't an honest person in the whole world, so they might as well also cheat and steal as much as possible? Why do so many people endure the shady treatment they get from telecoms companies, for one? A huge task to begin straightening that out while calling out the perps for the liars, thieves, and murderers that they are. Throwing them into jail would be a start. And take away all their ill gotten gains. ALL of it. We also desperately need to regain control of executive pay, which has risen so high that the difference between what each executive is paid and what the President of the US is paid is enough to have bailed out the economy several times over. But all that is not enough. We don't want people cynically feeling that these hucksters were cool and smooth, admiring them for being "successful", and worst of all thinking that they were righteous.

Re:Glass Brita Pitcher!? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 years ago | (#33921986)

Sorry, I have to disagree about executive pay. While I think it's ridiculous when CEOs are giving hundreds of millions in bonuses or salaries, those are privately-owned companies, and they're free to (over)pay as much as they want to. The last thing we need is the government telling people how much money they can pay each other.

If you want to do something about executive compensation, get government out of the business of favoring big companies (and bailing them out when they fail due to their own incompetence), and put it back in the business of promoting small business, restoring competition, and busting up monopolies. Government needs to stay out of business, unless a business grows so large that there's no more fair competition, and the playing field needs to be leveled, so to speak.

What we have now, in the USA, is a government that favors BIG business, and bails it out when it screws up. This action is favored by the Democrats and the Republicans: remember, TARP was done by a Democrat-controlled Congress under Bush, and then the GM/Chrysler bailout was done by Obama and friends. Neither of the parties is interested in promoting competition in business, or promoting small business.

So, if you want to limit executive compensation, then stop voting for politicians who act to promote excessive compensation through favors to big business. This means stop voting for Democrats, and stop voting for Republicans. If you vote for either of these parties, you're to blame for all the problems we're having.

Bottled water (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 4 years ago | (#33921006)

You already can't bring bottled water into an airport anyway; this won't make any difference. :P

Re:Bottled water (2, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 years ago | (#33921594)

I bring in empty bottles of bottled water so that I can fill them at the fountain once I'm in. That way I have the convenience of bottled water without having to pay for one at airport pricing. I've never had a problem with that. So there's nothing that would prevent someone from taking in their empty bottle or buying it in the airport and taking it to Canada that way.

chinese factory owners rub hands in anticipation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921020)

oh boy! another way to profit from environmental and democracy arbitrage.

and slashdotters are worried about arbitraging a $2 used book.

FMP (f my planet)

can i have some txoic chemicals today (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | about 4 years ago | (#33921026)

no really i want to get a lot of this and make a stew for the neighbor......

Fine, Canada (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921032)

Fine, Canada. We're going to declare Justin Bieber a toxic substance.

Your move.

Re:Fine, Canada (1)

Lazareth (1756336) | about 4 years ago | (#33921252)

I thought there was already consensus on this

Re:Fine, Canada (1)

formfeed (703859) | about 4 years ago | (#33921354)

We're going to declare Justin Bieber a toxic substance.

Don't encourage him. - Or he'll drive 11year old girls even more crazy.

Re:Fine, Canada (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 4 years ago | (#33921550)

If you pay for the waste processing plant.

Re:Fine, Canada (2, Funny)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 4 years ago | (#33922674)

We wholeheartedly agree, but recycling him would require a major effort to ensure safe disposal. Would you be willing to help with that?

Warning label is in order (2, Insightful)

poltsy (1897872) | about 4 years ago | (#33921174)

Do not eat the bottle.

Being a father with a paranoid mother... (4, Informative)

Wilson of Waste (1909510) | about 4 years ago | (#33921190)

It has been known and banned in many other parts of the world. I don't even think the USA has done anything about it though. If you avoid number 3 plastics you have no BPA worries. That means number 1, 2, 4, 5, and six are BPA free. Just thought everyone would like to know

Re:Being a father with a paranoid mother... (2, Informative)

canajin56 (660655) | about 4 years ago | (#33921208)

And remember that most cans are lined with BPA containing plastic.

Re:Being a father with a paranoid mother... (2, Informative)

Wilson of Waste (1909510) | about 4 years ago | (#33921244)

That is true, I also forgot to mention that number 7 plastics may or may not contain BPA as well... As for medical grade plastics I am not sure..

Re:Being a father with a paranoid mother... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 4 years ago | (#33922284)

Can I line my tin hat with BPA?

Re:Being a father with a paranoid mother... (1)

socsoc (1116769) | about 4 years ago | (#33921458)

Then tell your mom that you turned out okay and she shouldn't meddle with your decisions so much.

Define "toxic" (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 4 years ago | (#33921240)

What criteria is Canada using for "toxic"? Because anything in large amounts is sufficiently toxic to human beings (water is toxic if drunk in large amounts over a short period of time). Most medications are toxic to small children because their bodies can't handle the concentrations. Normally the LD50 is used as a criteria of how toxic a substance is. Bisphenol A is now known to be an endocrine disruptor (like PCBs and DDT). Is that the criteria?

Re:Define "toxic" (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 4 years ago | (#33921490)

I realise reading is hard, but:

"""
This includes substances
* that were found to meet the categorization criteria for persistence, bioaccumulation potential and inherent toxicity to non-human organisms, and that are known to be in commerce, or of commercial interest, in Canada; these substances are considered to be high priorities for assessment of ecological risk; and/or
* that were found either to meet the categorization criteria for greatest potential for exposure of Canadians or to present an intermediate potential for exposure, and were identified as posing a high hazard to human health based on available evidence on carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, developmental toxicity or reproductive toxicity; these substances are considered to be high priorities for assessment of risk to human health. ...

whether the substance is entering or may enter the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that
* have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity;
* constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which life depends; or
* constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.
"""

It's a government list, they can put whatever they like on it...

Re:Define "toxic" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921492)

yes, ddt is also banned

Re:Define "toxic" (1)

canajin56 (660655) | about 4 years ago | (#33921542)

Section 64 of CEPA 1999 defines a substance as toxic "if it is entering or may enter the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that: have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity; constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which life depends; or constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health." That's the definition they use. It is up to the government to determine what is a "long-term harmful effect" on human life or health. They have conducted studies indicating it is acutely toxic (determined by LD50, like you suggest) to aquatic life, so that's "immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity". Also, it's been found, by Canadian, US, and EU studies, to have a significant effect on fetal and childhood development. Specifically on the development of the brain and prostate gland. This makes it a "reproductive toxin" as described in CPR (Controlled Product Regulations) sections 55 and 58. This is not done by LD50, but by evaluation of studies as to whether or not current studies indicates "Evidence of a physiological effect". They looked at those Canadian, American, and European studies, and concluded that there is in fact evidence of physiological effect. So, while it is not toxic in the sense of having an LD50, it is toxic by their definition of having a physiological effect on fetal and child development. Anywho, here [ec.gc.ca] is the Environmental Protection Act that defines that stuff. And here [gazette.gc.ca] is the actual announcement from the government, which you can reach from TFA if you follow enough links.

Re:Define "toxic" (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 4 years ago | (#33921596)

I agree wholeheartedly that the summary is not very fine, and the word 'toxic' out of context is meaningless.

In this case it is a designation that means that the chemical will be regulated by the CEPA. It has nothing to do with a finding of actual toxicity at some particular level, only that there will be regulations issued to control exposure to BPA, primarily occupational exposure in this case since of course that's where the greatest risk is.

In reality there is no particular evidence that current US EPA regulations provide inadequate protection from BPA except possibly due to occupational exposure. Remember that the methodology is to find a minimum effect level, then divide that by 1000 for the final regulation.

The new evidence appearing in the literature seems to indicate that the no effect level should be lower than what was used, not that the current exposure levels are above the no effect level.

Of course that doesn't prevent a great hue and cry in the mainstream media about deadly deadly BPA but what the hell can you expect? Rational discussion or and effort to whip up a frenzy to sell more advertising space?

In reality this should be filed along with the dangers of HFCS and Autism from MMR. In other words the waste basket of dumb ideas.

So why didn't they outlaw it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921256)

BPA lines many 'tin' cans. Many of those cans come from China. I heard someone speculate that the Canadians didn't ban BPA because they were afraid of the Chinese reaction.

Given how inept Stephen Harper is at diplomacy, I would believe anything. The Canadians just:
1 - got kicked out of their airbase in the UAE
2 - lost to Portugal in a United Nations election for the Security Council
because of Harper's bungling.

If it's toxic, ban it: otherwise you're admitting that you're allowing Canadians to be poisoned.

And how about sales receipts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921352)

also may be a source of BPA. http://www.naturalnews.com/030012_BPA_receipts.html [naturalnews.com, other sources lists]

It's the water that's the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921516)

I drank so much water my head almost exploded due to osmosis, only to pass out in the bath an nearly drown after slipping on some ice.

Water Drink it, drip on it, submerse yourself in it, you'll die.
Seriously dangerous drug if you ask me, should be banned. Where all addicted to the bloody stuff.

Quick! Let's ban everything! (0, Flamebait)

scottbomb (1290580) | about 4 years ago | (#33921546)

No evidence needed, just the fear that it might be harmful. Glass can cut... ban it! Wood can give you a splinter... ban wood! Excuse me while I go eat some plastic bottles.

Canada bans BPA (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921548)

or was it just misheard, maybe they wanted to ban BP Eh

not toxic outside canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921738)

So as long as i'm not in canada it's not toxic?

Concentration? (1)

tirefire (724526) | about 4 years ago | (#33921744)

Does anyone out there know what kinds of concentrations of BPA start causing (significant) harm to humans and how it compares to what you get from plastic bottles? Whenever I hear about the horrors of BPA, my inner cynic tells me that it's the new secondhand smoke.

But why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33921822)

Why oh why ban BPA? Just because it mimics estrogen, makes boys turn into girls, when it leaks into the streams boy fish become girl fish, and gives women an extra shot at getting breast cancer. That's all! So they line tin cans with it, and cash register receipts (both thermal and not), and thermal paper, and make drinking bottles out of it, and line juice boxes with it, that doesn't mean its everywhere, does it? Think of the poor petrochemical companies! They have an easier time making profits if this product weren't banned you know! Fussy Canadians! Think of poor poor Exxon! They only had a net profit of $1268 U$ per second last year, and that's a pretty slim $40 Billion. Dammit Jim! What are we to do without BPA?

BPA declared toxic in Canada (2, Insightful)

12WTF$ (979066) | about 4 years ago | (#33922386)

but the vast oceans of residue from tar sands mining has now been proven both nutritious and delicious, eh!

craigslist tampa (-1, Offtopic)

kingston123 (1923128) | about 4 years ago | (#33922410)

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