Governor's BPA statements 'outrageous'

For many years, Kerrie Poulin has been aware of the dangers of bisphenol-A. She's read the reports. She took action.

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Bisphenol A-free baby bottles sit on the shelf at Axis Natural Foods in Auburn on Thursday. Outdoor manufacturers such as Nalgene and SIGG also make water bottles free of BPA.

The science, she said, is everywhere.

"I have three young kids," Poulin said. "Staying current on the latest science and health of my kids is always on the forefront of my goals for the day. Years ago, I had read about Canada banning BPA products. I immediately removed as much BPA from my house as I could. I did realize that BPA removal needed to come from a larger scale."

Like others, Poulin thought state leaders were helping. Recent remarks from Gov. Paul LePage — including a quip about women growing "little beards" from exposure to BPA — hasn't just angered them. It's left them stunned.

"I was thrilled that Maine was going to follow the others states with the removal of BPA products," Poulin said. "Environmental issues are progressive, and people are finally realizing the impact of chemicals, disease and the environment. I was seriously outraged when I read that Paul LePage was planning to lift the restrictions of BPA products. Clearly, Paul LePage is not looking at any science. If he did, he would not have made that statement. The science is everywhere."

The beard comment was making the rounds of national news shows on Thursday. Some found it offensive; others were baffled.

"I'm not sure what he's looking at," said Katie Greenlaw, mother of two. "Things can get overregulated, but when it comes to children's safety, it seems like that should be the biggest concern."

With or without the governor, Greenlaw said she's been doing her best to keep BPA away from her children, a 4-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter.

"My son was an infant when I first started hearing about it," Greenlaw said. "It's not something I want my kids to ingest."

Several government reports have been issued questioning the safety of the chemical. A 2010 report from the Food and Drug Administration raised further concerns regarding exposure to fetuses, infants and young children. In the European Union and Canada, BPA is banned in baby bottles.

A panel convened by the U.S. National Institutes of Health determined that there was concern about BPA's effects on fetal and infant brain development and behavior. A 2008 report by the U.S. National Toxicology Program later agreed with the panel, expressing concern for possible effects on the brain.

To say that Poulin, Greenlaw and others disagree with LePage's assurances is an understatement. They can quickly refer to a number of studies that plainly identify BPA as a hazard to human health. On local, national and international levels, Poulin said, the science is everywhere.

"I have a hard time believing even the most die-hard Republican could defend his blatant disregard for the children and women of Maine," Poulin said. "As a mother of three young children, I am deeply angered by the lack of caring. Maine families are the last on this businessman's list."

Some local stores, including Axis Natural Foods in Auburn, sell BPA-free water bottles, using aluminum or glass. Enough people are interested in avoiding the chemical that an Axis worker said they have an entire rack dedicated to those alternative containers.

People like Greenlaw said they'll continue to avoid BPA, regardless of what happens with the governor's proposal.

"We make it a priority," she said, "to stay away from it."

mlaflamme@sunjournal.com

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Comments

NANCY BARRY's picture

BPA

As a breast cancer survivor and grandmother I am very upset and insulted by Governor LePage’s opinion and comments. My cancer was fueled by estrogen. Did BPA play a role? I don’t know and will never know. What I do know is I was diagnosed with ER positive breast cancer at a young age.

After fighting the cancer with major surgery, chemo, radiation, drugs, additional surgery with no guarantee it will not return all I can do now is pray for the best for young children. We only purchase BPA free children’s eating/drinking products for our grandchild. We do not have the luxury of control this with other products.

BPA is known to be estrogenic. Why would we want our children to continually be introduced to a chemical which might affect their long term health?

William Cordwell's picture

nut job

Now what do we do with this nut job you guys elected our GOV.

Charlotte Morin's picture

Everyone, men and women, can get breast cancer.

Breast cancer is just one danger to which BPAdg has been linked. I have avoided it as best I can for my family but I do know that it is in the can linings of acidic foods, among other things. More needs to be done to eliminate this chemical from our food chain. Big money has been trying to hide the truth and fight the large-scale banning of BPA and our state needs to be on board to help to push this effort along. Hearing Mr. LePage's comment the other day made me wonder just who he thinks he is representing...who's side is he on, anyway?

Licia Kuenning's picture

What makes these ladies experts?

I don't see the point of quoting people who don't know any more about BPA than what they have read. My own life experience makes me all too aware that the FDA and the media can go off the rails driving useful products off the market, so I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that something is harmful because they say so.

AL PELLETIER's picture

Am I right?

Isn't it testosterone, not estrogen that would give women "little beards" ?

Doreen Sheive's picture

Yes

It certainly is, however, LePage is either too ignorant to know that or prefers to make fun of women rather than saying that it could cause men to have breasts.

Jason Theriault's picture

He can't make a joke about man boobs - He's already got em.

Maybe thats his plan - He wants all guys to have man boobs like his

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