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FDA to respond to petition to ban BPA

From Greener Package:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to respond by March 31 to a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to ban the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from food-contact materials, said a March 30, 2012, PR Newswire press release.

Approved by the FDA and used for decades in food packaging, including can liners, BPA is in polycarbonate plastic and durable epoxy resins, and is used in reusable containers and food packaging.

While the safety issue continues to be studied and debated within industry and regulatory authorities, consumer perception is also playing a role in the BPA issue. For example, a March 8 Food Safety News story, “Campbell’s Soup Phasing Out BPA Use in Cans,” said, “consumer confidence in BPA has vanished, and Campbell's joins a long list of companies that have already started to phase out or are planning to eliminate BPA from their packaging."

Posted: 3/30/2012 2:45:00 PM

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FDA agrees to determine safety of BPA

From The Washington Post:

The Food and Drug Administration must come up with a decision by March 31 on whether to ban a chemical that’s widely used in plastics and the metal linings of food containers, according to a court settlement reached Wednesday between the agency and the Natural Re­sources Defense Council.

The NRDC filed a petition in 2008 asking the agency to ban bisphenol A, or BPA, citing a growing body of research that suggests exposure to the chemical might pose serious health risks. When the FDA failed to respond within the time frame required by law, the NRDC sued the agency.

The settlement forces the FDA to take a position on a chemical that’s been used for more than four decades to manufacture everything from the cans for liquid infant formula to the coating on grocery store receipts. The agreement, approved by U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones in New York, said the FDA must issue a final decision, not a “tentative response.”

Posted: 12/14/2011 4:16:00 PM

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BPA Exposure: Should Pregnant Women Be Concerned?

From Fox News:

A new study has found a connection between bisphenol A exposure during pregnancy and behavioral problems in girls.

The chemical is extremely controversial, and many experiments are currently being done to determine the effect of BPA exposure on humans.

In this latest study, Harvard researchers took urine samples from 244 pregnant women living in Cincinnati twice during their pregnancies and once directly after giving birth and measured the BPA concentration.

Afterward, the researchers measured BPA levels in the children each year. At age three, parents filled out a survey on kids' anxiety, depression, aggression and hyperactivity, as well as any behavioral problems or trouble controlling their emotions.

Nearly all the women and children had traces of BPA in their urine – on average, a concentration of two micrograms per liter – but the researchers found for every tenfold increase in that concentration during pregnancy, daughters had significantly higher scores on tests of anxiety and depression and had worse behavioral and emotional control.

The same effect was not seen in sons, the researchers said, nor did the children’s own exposure to BPA seem to affect behavior.

Posted: 10/25/2011 9:36:00 AM

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Women With PCOS May Have Raised Levels Of BPA In Their Blood

From Reuters:

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have increased blood levels of the widely used industrial chemical bisphenol A, a small study finds -- raising the question of whether the compound plays some role in the disorder.

Among 71 women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), researchers found that on average, they had higher blood levels of bisphenol A, or BPA, compared with 100 healthy women the same age and weight.

The findings, reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, do not prove that BPA contributes to the ovary disorder.

But the researchers say that future studies should look into that possibility.
Posted: 1/14/2011 8:27:00 AM

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BPA: Are Your Dollar Bills Contaminated?

From CBS News:

Potentially toxic BPA (bisphenol A) has been found on dollar bills in a recent investigation conducted by the Washington Toxics Coalition in Seattle.

All but one of the 22 bills tested were contaminated with the pollutant.

The bills were likely contaminated due to their proximity to receipts, many of which have a thermal ink coating with BPA in it.

Posted: 12/10/2010 11:09:00 AM

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High BPA levels affect male fertility by hurting sperm quality

From Healthy Living:

A recent human study published in Fertility and Sterility showed the effect of BPA levels on sperm quality in men, which could affect their ability to conceive a child.

The study was conducted on 218 Chinese workers for five years. Researchers tested urine and measured semen quality by examining factors like concentration, vitality, motility (movement), total sperm count and morphology (size and shape). The results showed that:
  • Men exposed to BPA at work had more than three times the risk of lower sperm concentration and vitality than men with no detectable urine BPA.
  • Men exposed to BPA showed more than four times the risk of poor sperm quality, including low sperm count and motility.
  • Men are more sensitive to BPA and small amount of exposure can cause drastic side effects.
Posted: 11/5/2010 8:19:00 AM

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Canada Declares BPA, a Chemical in Plastics, to Be Toxic

From The New York Times:

The government of Canada formally declared bisphenol A, a chemical widely used to create clear, hard plastics, as well as food can liners, to be a toxic substance on Wednesday.

The compound, commonly known as BPA, has been shown to disrupt the hormone systems of animals and is under review in the United States and Europe.

Canada’s move, which was strenuously fought by the chemical industry, followed an announcement by the government two years ago that it would eliminate the compound’s use in polycarbonate bottles used by infants and children.

The compound was formally listed as being toxic to both the environment and human health in an official notice published online by the government without fanfare, a noticeable contrast to the earlier baby bottle announcement, which was made by two cabinet ministers.

Canada’s designation is at odds with Europe’s approach. Last month, the European Food Safety Authority released an update that concluded that “data currently available do not provide convincing evidence of neurobehavioral toxicity of BPA”

But France and Denmark have independently imposed temporary bans on some uses of BPA.

Posted: 10/21/2010 8:30:00 AM

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New BPA findings help fill research gaps

From Environmental Factor:

Barely a year after NIEHS announced $30 million in funding to support research on the chemical bisphenol A, new grantee findings are already emerging. Gail Prins, Ph.D, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, presented data during a seminar at NIEHS on how the dose levels and the route of administration of BPA given in her rat model are relevant to human exposure levels.

The lecture, organized by Jerry Heindel, Ph.D., an acting branch chief in the NIEHS Division of Extramural Research and Training, attracted an at-capacity audience Sept. 21. It began with an introduction to the rat model Prins uses for her work and an overview of prostate cancer — the second leading cause of cancer death in American men behind lung cancer.

Prins said her lab developed what she referred to as a two-hit model, giving rats low doses of estrogenic compounds including BPA, soon after birth, and then testosterone and estradiol later in life, to mimic what happens with aging in humans. Using this model, she has shown that low doses of estrogen and BPA early in life would impact the susceptibility of prostate cancer later in life.

Posted: 10/4/2010 10:44:00 AM

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Study: Human Exposure to BPA 'Grossly Underestimated'

From The New York Times:

Americans are likely to be exposed at higher levels than previously thought to bisphenol A, a compound that mimics hormones important to human development and is found in more than 90 percent of people in the United States, according to new research.

U.S. EPA says it is OK for humans to take in up to 50 micrograms of BPA per kilogram of body weight each day. The new study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, suggests that we are exposed to at least eight times that amount every day.

Posted: 9/21/2010 9:06:00 AM

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Fillings, Sealants May Leach BPA Into Kids' Mouths

From HealthDay News:

The fillings and sealants that many dentists use can expose children to the controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA), a new analysis indicates, but such exposure is short-lived and it remains unclear whether or not it poses a long-term health risk.

Although these products do not contain pure BPA, saliva can cause the fillings and sealants to leach. This releases the chemical into the mouth and breaks it down to its pure form, the researchers explained.

While the study authors do not recommend a ban of these dental products with pediatric patients, they caution parents and dentists to take steps that could minimize any potential risks associated with exposure to the ubiquitous chemical, which is found in many plastic products and has been linked to health issues such as male impotence, infant behavioral problems and birth defects.

Posted: 9/15/2010 8:48:00 AM

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