There has been plenty of bad news about bisphenol A (BPA), and recent studies suggest that it may be even worse than feared. BPA is a common chemical used for softening plastic in water bottles and is also found in cans and other food packaging. It is also considered to be an endocrine disrupter that can throw hormones out of balance.
In Canada, BPA has been labeled a toxic substance, and Canada, the United States, and the European Union have all banned BPA usage in baby sippy cups and bottles. Individual states in the U.S. have the authority to list BPA as harmful -- California recently became the latest state to do so. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to ban BPA usage on a widespread basis. That is unfortunate, because BPA has been linked to lower sperm counts, damage to the uterus, obesity, and birth defects.
Researchers at Washington State University recently found that rats exposed to BPA developed both reproductive disease and obesity. Even more worrisome, the third generation of rats born to those exposed to BPA had greater increases in pubertal abnormalities, ovarian disease, testis disease, and obesity. In other words, rats with no exposure to BPA still suffered from rats that were exposed two generations before.
At the same time, efforts to avoid BPA in products have sometimes led to results that are no better. Another recent study found that a substitute chemical, bisphenol S, has ended up altering hormones in a very similar way to BPA.
While it is difficult to determine to what extent BPA has affected humans, one study out of Spain has found that between 2001 and 2011, sperm counts dropped 28% and the quality of sperm dropped 38%.
If your child has a birth defect that you believe is due to your exposure to BPA before and during your pregnancy, you have the option of filing a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. The challenge would be figuring out which products containing BPA to which you were most exposed. That is very difficult, as BPA is in a wide variety of products -- you could have been exposed to dozens of different products containing BPA. You would also need to prove that it was BPA, and not one of many other toxins, that caused your child's birth defect. If you cannot narrow down the products to which you were exposed, or when, you will likely not be successful in your lawsuit.
One other option might be to sue the FDA, or another entity responsible for regulating toxins in food products. You might sue that entity for a monetary award for failing to perform its duty, or sue for equitable relief in the form of an injunction. With an injunction, you might be able to compel the FDA to take greater action against products with BPA, which might help protect your child's health in the future.
The birth defect attorneys at Oshman & Mirisola, LLP have successfully represented clients in birth defect lawsuits for more than 35 years. If your child suffers from a birth defect that you believe could be due to your exposure to products with BPA while pregnant, please contact us today by calling (800) 400-8182, or submit our online Contact Us form.