In 2012, the Federal Drug Administration prohibited the use of bisphenol A, or BPA, in the production of baby bottles and sippy cups due to evidence suggesting the chemical could lead to cancer, early puberty and alterations in the reproductive system and brain, explains WebMD. Although testing has primarily centered on animals, negative responses to the chemical have been observed in behaviors, heart problems and hormone levels.
Scientists theorize that BPA acts as a hormone and alters natural hormone development and levels in fetuses, infants and children, according to WebMD. Animal tests to validate this theory are inconclusive. Although there is not enough conclusive data to confirm a link, some results show a relationship between high BPA levels and an increase in rates of attention deficit disorder, diabetes and obesity. Other studies contradict this information.
The federal government supports research into the safety of BPA, notes WebMD. While the Food and Drug Administration advises people to take reasonable steps to reduce the exposure to BPA in food products, there is currently no federal ban on such products in the United States as of 2015.
Many states have addressed this issue directly with laws governing the use of BPA, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In California, it is illegal to sell or distribute products with more BPA than 0.1 part per billion if the product is intended for children younger than 4.