London, Oct 21 : Canada is set to ban baby bottles containing a widely used "gender-bending" chemical that may lead to birth defects in boys.
Health officials in the country have declared bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical added to plastics and food packaging, as toxic.
BPA mimics the female sex hormone oestrogen and has been associated with birth defects in boys, heart disease in adults, and lower sperm counts and breast cancer in animals.
The government is planning to curb the importation, sale and advertising of bottles made with BPA.
"Many Canadians ... have expressed their concern to me about the risks of bisphenol A in baby bottles," the Telegraph quoted Canada's Environment Minister John Baird, as saying in a statement.
"Today's confirmation of our ban on BPA in baby bottles proves that our government did the right thing in taking action to protect the health and environment for all Canadians," he added.
The government also recommends "to allow the lowest amount of BPA as reasonably achievable in infant formula cans" and all foods in general.
Bisphenol A has been found to have important effects on the development of brain. It has also been termed as a potential risk factor for metabolic syndrome and its consequences.
While the European Union and the US Food and Drug Administration claim that the chemical is safe, several US states are considering restricting BPA use.