Eastman Chemical Squelching Debate on Consumer Safety in Baby Bottles, Other Plastics, Claim CertiChem and PlastiPure
AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Eastman Chemical appears to be waging war on consumer safety with a combination of hardball litigation and a web campaign targeted at Austin-based CertiChem and PlastiPure – safety-based testing and solutions companies, respectively. The lawsuit would effectively shut down independent testing that serves to confirm for the public whether or not widely-used Tritan(TM) products are safe to use.
The suit has become a critical examination of Eastman Chemical’s Tritan(TM) resins — used in a broad array of plastic consumer products, including baby bottles, food containers, and water bottles. Eastman Chemical claims its Tritan(TM) resins are free of chemicals with estrogenic activity (“EA-Free”) and “safe” for consumers.
However, CertiChem and PlastiPure have published peer-reviewed results that show Tritan(TM) resins and products leach chemicals having significant estrogenic activity (EA) after common-use stresses, often at levels equal to the EA of polycarbonate plastics made from BPA– a chemical now banned by the FDA for use in baby bottles and sippy cups because of safety concerns about potential harm. Much of the companies’ important research, some of it on Tritan(TM), has been peer-reviewed funded by NSF and NIH. CertiChem’s findings of EA in Tritan(TM) triggered the lawsuit by Eastman Chemical.
In their response to the lawsuit, CertiChem and PlastiPure note that Eastman’s suit coincided with its aggressive marketing campaign for Tritan(TM), reminiscent of deceptive “greenwashing” claims used by large manufacturers to create and take advantage of market confusion.
“Someone tells you his product is ‘safe’ and in the same breath tells you that any methods except his methods of testing for safety are off limits– well that’s suspicious,” said Dr. George Bittner, CertiChem’s founder. “Public health issues, plastic safety certainly among them, especially where babies are concerned, belong in the arena of open scientific discussion.” Bittner is a respected neurobiologist and university professor.
Eastman in its most recent advertisements now appears to agree with CertiChem concerns that chemicals having estrogenic activity (EA) can have adverse health effects, especially to infants and small children. The FDA last month echoed those concerns by banning BPA for use in baby bottles and sippy cups.
Eastman Chemical refers to “several” studies it says were conducted by “independent third-party labs” to support its claim of Tritan(TM) safety, but only one published study has been named to date that only tested a few ingredients of Tritan resins–not the resin, much less stressed products made from the resin. Furthermore, several of its authors have received funds from Eastman Chemical in the past. No source of funding is listed in that study.
“From what we’ve seen, Eastman Chemical is making questionable statements about ‘independent third-party testing,’” said Mike Usey, CEO of PlastiPure. “Should a manufacturer have total control over who tests its products, especially products critical to consumer safety? That’s a question, I believe, that Tritan(TM) customers and consumers should be asking.”
PlastiPure and CertiChem note in their response to the suit that they are “unaware of any effort by Eastman Chemical to disclose the testing conditions or biological activity of extracts for any of its resins in formats available to the public or scientific community.”
Mike Usey 512-637-4386 ext. 214
SOURCE CertiChem; PlastiPure