Philips, 5 others stop selling BPA baby bottles

Royal Philips Electronics, a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, has announced its decision not to sell its Avent baby products in North America, which contain bisphenol A (BPA), an industrial chemical suspected of harming human development.

''Philips made the decision to stop shipping polycarbonate baby bottles to retailers in the US because the company values its relationship with its customers and there is current confusion about the use of BPA in infant feeding products,'' Shannon Jenest, a spokeswoman for Avent said.

The company will continue to sell polycarbonate baby bottles elsewhere in the world, she said.

Health officials caution about possible ill effects believe that infants and children are at the greatest risk because of their quickly developing bodies and sensitive systems.

In the face of growing public and legal pressure that began in San Francisco, another five major companies have also agreed to stop selling the shatter-proof polycarbonate baby bottles containing BPA. These include Disney First Years, Playtex Products Inc, Gerber, Evenflo Co, and Dr. Brown.

On Wednesday, lawmakers in Suffolk County, New York, became the first in the nation to vote on a ban on baby bottles and toddler sippy cups made with BPA.

BPA, first synthesised in 1891, is used to harden plastics, and it appears in everything from baby bottles to sunglasses, but increasingly has been linked to health problems, particularly in the very young.