BPA’s potential environmental impacts.They don't make it easy, but if you can manage to wade through the bureaucratic mambo-jumbo, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would like your comments on possible toxicity testing and environmental sampling to study
BPA (Bisphenol A) has been shown to cause reproductive and developmental effects in animal studies. In 2008 Canada banned the substance from baby bottles and then became the first country to declare BPA as a toxic substance in 2010.
The European Union also banned BPA from baby bottles in 2011. The U.S. has subsequently been accused of lagging behind in the BPA debate, potentially putting Americans at risk.
BPA is used in the manufacture of a wide range of consumer and industrial products including food-can liners, hard polycarbonate plastics, epoxy paints and coatings, and thermal papers, even cash register receipts.
Releases of BPA to the environment exceed 1 million pounds per year.
“A number of concerns have been raised about the potential human health and environmental effects of BPA,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
“The data collected under the testing EPA is considering would help EPA better understand and address the potential environmental impacts of BPA.”
In January 2010 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it would further examine potential human health effects and reduce exposure to BPA in the food supply, which represents the greatest source of exposure to people.
EPA is working with FDA, Centers for Disease Control, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences on research under way to better determine and evaluate the potential health consequences of BPA exposures. At the conclusion of that research, EPA will determine if additional actions may be needed to address human health concerns from non-food use exposures.
EPA issued an action plan on BPA in March 2010 outlining possible steps the agency might take to address risks presented by BPA, including testing procedures. EPA’s BPA action plan is available at http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/actionplans/bpa.html.
Comments on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) must be received on or before September 26, 2011. The ANPR and supporting information can be found in docket number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-0812 on the Federal eRulemaking Portal, http://www.regulations.gov/.
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