BPA Restrictions Embraced by AMA

Linked to a growing array of physical disorders and a component in a constantly growing list of consumer products, <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">bisphenol A—BPA—the ubiquitous polycarbonate plastics chemical has gotten the attention of the American Medical Association House of Delegates. AMed News, a publication of the Association, reports that the group is calling for a ban on the sale of baby bottles and infant feeding cups containing the estrogenic chemical.

The endocrine disrupting agent has been in use for over 50 years and can be found, not only in baby bottles and infant feeding cups, but in thermal papers, such as that received when purchases are made; aquatic paints, which helps to explain its presence in our water supplies; CD and DVD cases; eyeglasses; dental sealants; automobiles; and in the lining of food product cans, to name just a few.

The AMA is also calling for improved federal oversight of the anti-androgen and to mandate clear product labeling to include BPA when it is a component, said a report from the Council on Science and Public Health adopted by delegates last month during their yearly meeting, said AMed News.

The report, said Robert Gilchick, MD, MPH, a public health and preventive medicine specialist representing the American College of Preventive Medicine speaking on behalf of the Council on Science and Public Health, was written following a resolution introduced at the 2010 meeting asking the AMA to support legislation seeking BPA’s restriction in children’s products, said AMed News.

“Biomonitoring studies of urine and blood have revealed human exposure to BPA to be nearly ubiquitous, with most of the exposure based on dietary intake,” Dr. Gilchick said, quoted AMed News. “Accordingly, it is appropriate to take measures to limit human exposure, especially during critical periods of development,” Dr. Gilchick added.

The report points to the criticality of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to “actively incorporate current science into the regulation of food and beverage BPA-containing products.” Of note, in addition to growing concern over the negative impact of BPA on health and the environment, and despite tremendous public support for increased regulation concerning toxic chemicals, Congress continues to act on the side of industry. Meanwhile, industry has long relied on the results of two studies that found BPA safe at current usage levels; however, those studies were industry conducted.

Frederick vom Saal, PhD, professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri, has studied BPA’s adverse effects since 1997, writing a 2008 report in The Journal of the American Medical Association that pointed to a link between the chemical to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and liver-enzyme abnormalities, said AMed news. vom Saal called for FDA to take action limiting human exposure to the chemical.

In 2010, the agency acknowledged that BPA was of “some concern” for babies and children and said it was working to minimize human exposure to BPA in the food supply, AMed News explained.

“Both the FDA and Canadian officials have recently expressed concern about potential harmful effects of BPA and taken interim actions to protect sensitive populations such as infants and toddlers by banning the sale of baby bottles, food containers and cups containing BPA,” said Edward L. Langston, MD, then AMA Board of Trustees member, quoted AMed News. “The new policy adopted today supports these measures and a shift to a more robust, science-based federal regulatory framework for oversight of BPA,” Dr. Langston added.

In many hundreds of studies, BPA has been linked to toxic injury and life threatening illnesses including implications in cardiovascular disease, intestinal problems, brain cell connection interference, increased risks of reproductive and immune system diseases and disorders, problems with liver function testing, interruptions in chemotherapy treatment, premature puberty, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and other female fertility and endocrine issues, and erectile dysfunction and male sexual problems.

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