US manufacturers of babies' bottles are to remove a chemical from their products, in the face of concerns over its effects, as British campaigners call for a similar move in the UK.

The six manufacturers are removing Bisphenol A (BPA) from their bottles in the move that they say is a response to consumer demand.

However, campaigners are angry that bottles containing BPA will continue to be sold in the UK. The Food Standards Agency has said that presence of BPA in UK plastic products is "well below the levels considered harmful".

The chemical is widely used in plastic manufacture and is commonly found in food and drink containers. However, it is when babies's bottles are heated that it is thought BPA might be leaching into the contents.

The current advice for parents is not to pour boiling liquid directly into bottles, not to microwave them or use scratched or worn ones.

Researchers from Exeter University found that adults with high levels of BPA in their system were more prone to heart disease and diabetes

Dr Iain Lang, who led the study, quoted by the BBC, said: "There is not enough to provide us with the evidence to say there is definitely a link, there is definitely something going on.

"But in addition to some of the previous work that has been done looking at younger children and looking at animals this does increase the likelihood that there are problems associated with BPA."

Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust, said: "It's time the companies in the UK followed suit with what the companies in America and Canada are doing.

"We shouldn't have bottles on the market that leach BPA. Parents would like to choose not have BPA in their babies' feeds and they don't find that choice easy right now."