FDA BPA Decision Expected in November

After much controversy and accusations of alleged negligence, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking a very serious look at <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">bisphenol A—BPA—a ubiquitous, estrogenic, chemical best known for its presence in children’s products and water bottles.

Newly appointed FDA commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, recently announced that the agency is reconsidering its decision that BPA is safe at current levels, especially those found in baby bottles, a decision for which the agency has faced fierce criticism under its previous administration.

UTNE reports that the agency just announced it expects to make a decision by November 30 on the safety of the chemical for its use in food and beverage containers, citing the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Meanwhile, earlier this week, we wrote that House and Senate lawmakers are considering two bills to ban use of the chemical that has been used as a plastic hardener for decades. BPA is a synthetic estrogen found in a variety of plastic containers, including baby bottles; toys and sippy cups; food and beverage containers, to name some.

BPA was just banned in Schenectady County in upstate New York; a similar measure was recently passed by Albany County legislators and takes effect January 1. BPA is banned in Connecticut, Minnesota, Chicago, and New York’s Suffolk County. Wisconsin became the third state to introduce a bill to ban BPA-containing baby bottle and sippy cup sales for children and California voted on a similar bill that is in the Assembly. Twenty-four states have bills in the works to restrict the toxin; Canada was the first country to announce plans to ban BPA, calling it a toxin.

An emerging study found links between BPA and adverse health effects. Environmental Health News wrote that menopausal women tend to be likelier to suffer BPA-related health effects, such as inflammation and oxidative stress, over women who are still menstruating and men. Just prior, we wrote that another study found BPA might “impair” female reproductive cell growth and function, according to the University of Illinois. Two months ago we wrote that research conducted by the North Carolina State University and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), found BPA to significantly affect reproductive health at levels that are either the same or even lower that those believed not to cause adverse effects, citing Science Daily.

BPA has been connected to a wide variety of other adverse effects, namely: Increased risks of brain, reproductive, cardiac, and immune system diseases and disorders; problems with liver function testing; interruptions in chemotherapy treatment; links with serious health problems based on over 200 studies which found it to have negative effects at doses lower than the FDA’s current 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 can be passed to future generations.

Activists are concerned that November is just too long to wait for an answer. Olga Naidenko, a scientist with the Environmental Working Group feels the agency is “working to stall science rather than advance it,” quoted UTNE. Others, for instance, lobbyist Liz Hitchcock, with the Public Interest Research Group, said the group was “heartened that the FDA was taking another look,” wrote the Journal Sentinel, said UTNE, which noted that the FDA’s review involves over 100 new studies of the chemical.

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