January 29, 2010 | By Eric Sorensen | No Comments »
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: abnormalities, baby bottles, ban, bisphenol A, BPA, chromosomes, Legislature, Pat Hunt, Patricia Hunt, plastic, research, Science, Seattle Times, sippy cups, Washington State University, WSU
From today’s Seattle Times:
It surfaced by accident, when a rookie lab assistant was too zealous with the cleanser.
Scientist Patricia Hunt was doing genetics studies on female mice when a temp worker cleaning up one day scoured the animals’ cages and water bottles with harsh detergent. When the creatures showed abnormalities in their egg chromosomes, Hunt later linked the changes to a substance released from the plastic by the abrasive and the scrubbing — bisphenol A.
That was 1998. A decade of research and controversy later, Hunt, now a professor at Washington State University, has helped push Washington toward becoming one of a handful of states to ban many products that contain the plastic-hardening agent BPA.
Perhaps as early as Friday, the state Senate is expected to vote on whether to fine manufacturers and retailers that make or sell baby bottles, sippy cups, and cans or jars of infant food that contain the chemical because of health concerns for young children. A similar measure passed the state House 95-1 this week.
Read the Washington State Magazine article from Fall 2008 about Pat Hunt’s work, and the work of other WSU researchers studying human chromosomes.