In the past, we’ve talked about a concept called “regrettable substitutions” which involves the use of dangerous chemicals in the manufacture of promotional products. The truth is that substituting one ingredient for another doesn’t always improve the safety of products.
According to an article entitled “Anatomy of a Statistical Meltdown,” by Trevor Butterworth, director of Sense About Science, USA, when it comes to bisphenol A (BPA), the media suffers from a case of “regrettable statistics.” Butterworth describes what he calls a “statistical meltdown” when it comes to the 17 year battle over the health effects of BPA.
To put it another way, if you’ve been around for any length of time, you have been exposed to BPA. It’s even worse if you are a woman and, as the study suggests, could be a reasonable excuse for all those times you were put in “time out” as a child. It’s the opposite case for boys, based on this study’s findings, you can reasonably assume that exposure to BPA is actually beneficial for boys!
The FDA has not changed its position on the use of the chemical over the last 17 years. Unfortunately, the media doesn’t always care when it comes to facts. A prime example is this headline from ABC News: “Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls.” According to the post, “The research showed that hyperactive, anxious, aggressive, and depressed behavior was more common in 3-year-old girls who were exposed in the womb to bisphenol-A than in boys of the same age.”
Reuters Health quoted the same study, saying, “In a new study of Cincinnati-area kids, girls exposed to higher levels of bisphenol A before birth had more behavioral problems and were more anxious and over-active than those only exposed to small amounts of the chemical.” While the study is flawed, it continues to be cited by the media as a credible source.
If you’d like to read more on this and related topics, please check out my column on Promo Corner Blog.