EPA Delays BPA Action Following Industry Pressure

On the heels of a meeting between chemical industry lobbyists and officials with the Obama administration, federal regulators are doing what seems to be a bit of a back track in the inclusion of <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">bisphenol A—BPA—in its regulation of dangerous chemicals, said the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

The meeting took place last year and has many wondering, especially given that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head has been vocally critical about the public’s exposure to chemicals, especially the highly ubiquitous BPA. The agency released its list on December 30th, said the Journal Sentinel; BPA was not on the list of four chemicals subject to more stringent labeling and reporting. The EPA said the highly controversial chemical will not be on its regulatory plan another two years, according to the Journal Sentinel.

It seems, citing White House notes on the meeting, that the American Chemistry Council worked hard to ensure BPA not receive broader regulation, said the Journal Sentinel. Lobbyists for the Council presented studies that were largely funded by industry, a flaw we have long been presenting—that industry-paid studies are used to minimize other studies that continually point to serious adverse affects linked to the chemical estrogen mimicker. For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has long been criticized for its reliance on two industry-funded studies in its findings that BPA is safe at current levels.

Lobbyists cited profits and that the increased scrutiny will hurt industry, said the Journal Sentinel, which noted that the group asked for “preferential treatment,” requesting notice of action before public release.

BPA was developed in the 1930s as an estrogenic mimicker and appears to cause significant disruption to the body’s endocrine system and has been linked to cardiovascular disease, intestinal problems, and brain cell connection interference. BPA has been connected to increased risks of reproductive and immune system diseases and disorders; problems with liver function testing; interruptions in chemotherapy treatment; links with serious health problems; and erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems in males. In urine tests, BPA is found in the overwhelming majority of Americans, more than 93 percent and, significantly, the chemical is found in 90 percent of all newborns.

Studies have overwhelmingly found BPA to have negative effects at doses lower than current FDA standards; retention in the body longer than was previously believed; leeching into liquids being held in containers regardless of the containers’ temperature; and longer lasting damage, which some feel can be passed to future generations.

The Journal Sentinel faulted government regulators, who have been knows to acquiesce to industry on this issue. “There has been a multimillion-dollar PR and lobbying campaign by the chemical industry to allow continued use of this chemical, but we expect the administration to keep its eyes focused on the science,” said Sarah Janssen, a medical doctor and staff scientist at the environmental advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council, quoted the Journal Sentinel.

Last month, the FDA, reversed its position that BPA was safe for all saying it has “some concern” about BPA’s effects on the brain; behavior; and prostates of fetuses, infants, and young children, said the Journal Sentinel. The agency advisory system is comprised of five levels of concern; the term “some concern” is the third, said the Journal Sentinel.

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