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Jerome Groopman: Is Plastic Hurting Us?09:23
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Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical in plastic. Massachusetts is weighing a ban on the chemical in children's food and beverage containers. (Jenny Lee Silver via Flickr)
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical in plastic. Massachusetts is weighing a ban on the chemical in children's food and beverage containers. (Jenny Lee Silver via Flickr)

It's virtually impossible to go a day without coming into contact with plastic. It's everywhere, including in baby bottles and children's sippy cups. Do all those plastic products — specifically those containing Bisphenol A, or BPA — pose a danger to our health?

The Massachusetts public health department has proposed a ban on all children's products containing BPA, effective July 2011. Some health activists say the measure does not go far enough. The plastic industry argues there is a lack of conclusive science on the effects of BPA on humans.

Jerome Groopman, a Harvard Medical School professor, writes about BPA and other everyday chemicals in this week's New Yorker. He joins us to talk about what hazards those chemicals might pose — and whether the hysteria is just that.

This program aired on May 27, 2010.

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