Canada intends to ban the import and sale of plastic polycarbonate baby bottles, which would be the first such step in the world, Health Minister Tony Clement said on Friday.
Polycarbonate is a plastic made with the chemical bisphenol A, widely used in food and water containers. Clement said the ban would only extend to bottles used by newborns and infants, as evidence is strongest that early development may be sensitive to it.
Major Canadian retail chains have already started removing bottles and containers containing bisphenol A, citing public concerns about possible health risks.
“We have concluded it is better to be safe than sorry,” Clement said in an announcement. He also urged parents never to pour boiling water into baby bottles containing bisphenol A.
The U.S. government said on Tuesday that bisphenol A could be tied to early puberty, and to prostate and breast cancer.
Environmental groups say it is a dangerous chemical, while the industry says its use in plastic products is safe.