How long does it take to make consumer goods safer? More than a year ago, Fast Company writer David Case published an air-tight investigation showing that some plastic manufacturers were using the big tobacco playbook, manufacturing doubt about the harmfulness of BPA, a chemical used to make everything from baby bottles to canned food package liners more shatter proof. High doses of the chemical can leech out and are believed to contribute to a range of developmental, neurological, reproductive, and immune disorders. The message to companies was obvious: Innovate assembly lines or face more brand contamination.
But wait. Some actually listened. This week, as two New York Senators finally call for a ban on BPA for products marketed to children and pregnant women, a handful of new BPA-free goods are already available. Yes, some food companies have merely switched from plastic to glass, but baby companies like BornFree, thinkbaby, Green to Grow, Nuby, Momo Baby, Mother's Milkmate, and Medela's offer a new line of durable, non-polycarbonate-based bottles and containers. That Consumer Reports just released a study showing BPA present in larger concentrations within an even bigger range of range of products than first thought means that production formula is about to get a lot more valuable.