Business Group Lobbying Obama Administration On BPA

The nation’s largest business lobby, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has asked the Obama administration to halt its plans to list the controversial polycarbonate plastic hardener, <"">bisphenol A (BPA)—as an environmentally harmful substance, The Detroit Free Press just reported. The chamber represents over 3 million companies and organizations.

The Detroit Free Press also noted that, last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it would study the hormone mimicking chemical’s effects, adding that the EPA is considering adding the chemical to its “concern list.”

Not surprisingly, according to the Chamber, the EPA does not have sufficient scientific backing to include BPA in its concern list and complained that it had not considered the economic effects of including EPA in that list, said The Detroit Free Press.

The highly prevalent chemical is present in a constantly growing range of consumer products that include baby bottles and sippy cups, eyeglass, CD and DVD cases, windshields, can liners, and water bottles, to name just a small sampling.

We recently wrote that the toxic chemical was found in ordinary thermal paper receipts—further intensifying its ubiquity—and presents a danger to aquatic health due to its presence in nautical paints. BPA’s presence in can liners has long been known and remains a point of contention for consumer advocates and experts reporting on the risks of the chemical’s infiltration into our food chain.

Acting as an anti-androgen—a substance that blocks hormone activity—and mimicking the hormone estrogen, BPA affects sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children.

BPA has been inked to toxic injury and life threatening illnesses in many hundreds of studies which have made these links to 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. A recent human study also linked BPA to sperm health issues.

At issue is that despite growing concern over the negative impact of BPA on health and the environment; a massive number of scientific, peer-reviewed studies; and unprecedented public support for increased regulation concerning this toxic chemical, Congress has long continued to act on the side of industry in the case of BPA. As a matter-of-fact, Congress has long relied on the results of two studies that found BPA safe at current usage levels.

Of note, and what is rarely explained when these studies are mentioned, is that both studies were conducted by industry, an issue of concern for the scientific community, consumer and environmental advocates, and consumers. A number of entities, states, and countries have implemented bans and restrictions on BPA in certain products.

Professor David Melzer, a scientist at Exeter University previously described BPA as “gender bending,” calling for BPA to undergo the same safety trials as emerging medications.

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