More Calls for BPA Ban

An analysis published by  the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel this weekend revealed that plastic products labeled “microwave safe“ release “toxic doses” of the chemical <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">bisphenol A (BPA).  The paper also reported that all of the products it tested—10 in total—leached dangerous BPA levels, according to the paper’s online version, JSOnline.

JSOnline also reports that federal and state lawmakers are looking to ban BPA from food and beverage containers and noted that Representative Edward J. Markey (Democrat-Massachusetts) said he plans on reintroducing a bill in Congress this January to do just that.  “This test of ‘microwave safe’ containers adds to the already vast and compelling body of knowledge indicating that BPA is dangerous and unsuitable for all food and beverage containers,” Markey was quoted as saying in JSOnline.

The paper’s analysis included measuring what BPA amounts were released upon heating and calculating “how much BPA children of various ages and weights would consume if they were to eat from the products,” said JSOnline.  The paper found those “studies in which scientists had looked at these levels of BPA exposure in live laboratory animals,” finding 17 such studies that confirmed “harm at these levels,” reported JSOnline.  The harm sited included “genital defects, behavioral changes, and abnormal development of mammary glands,” said JSOnline, which noted that mammary gland changes matched those found “in women at higher risk for breast cancer.”

Following release of the paper’s study, Senator Charles Schumer (Democrat-New York) announced that he plans on picking up his work to remove BPA from children’s products, saying to the paper that, “Parents always err on the side of caution when it comes to their kids’ health.  We think that the law should do the same.”  Congress is not alone, 13 states have proposed BPA bans said JSOnline, which noted its state of Wisconsin was not among the 13; however, that state’s senator—Julie Lassa (Democrat-Stevens Point)—announced she is “preparing legislation to ban BPA from children’s products” there.

Lassa, who is chairman of the state Senate’s Committee on Economic Development and the mother of two children aged four years and 17 months, told JSOnline that her concern about BPA’s harmful effects was heightened last spring after hearing about the Canadian ban of BPA from baby bottles and children’s products.  “It’s scary stuff,” JSOnline quoted Lassa who also said that “It’s so convenient,” to use pre-packaged foods, but is now “horrified,” adding that, “The more chemicals we use, the more we are finding out how they impact the human body.”

BPA is a ubiquitous, estrogenic—estrogen-mimicking—chemical that is used in the lining of food cans, baby bottles, and an enormous array of consumer products.  Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) long maintained that BPA was safe—based mostly on two industry-funded reports—fierce criticism and ongoing pressure from the scientific community and consumer advocates as well as an announcement that “after a subcommittee of an advisory board found that the agency had ignored valuable studies” (JSOnline), it is now reviewing and revisiting its findings.

BPA has been linked in numerous studies to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, various cancers, liver function testing problems, chemotherapy interruptions, hormonal imbalances, neurological and behavioral disturbances, reproductive failures, and breast cancer risk, to name just some.

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