Health Canada: Bisphenol A is Dangerous
Health Canada has become the first regulatory body worldwide to officially state the worries and potential dangers surrounding Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is widely used in plastic production - polycarbonate in particular (the hard, see through plastics used in some reusable water bottles - designated as a Type 7). BPA critics maintain that it is harmful to humans because it mimics estrogen, thus inhibiting the body's natural estrogen (which all humans, not just females, require to maintain healthy, functioning bodies).
Although much controversy has surrounded the adverse human effects of BPA, no government body has publically denounced BPA - until now.
Although the government won't announce specific bans or restrictions, the designation as dangerous could pave the way for the hormonally active chemical to be listed as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, which would allow Health Minister Tony Clement to issue specific measures to curb its use.
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is one of the most widely used synthetic chemicals in modern industry. It is the basic building block for polycarbonate, the see-through, shatter-proof plastic that resembles glass, and is also used to make the epoxy resins lining the insides of most tin cans, along with some dental sealants, sports helmets, and compact discs.
Under Health Canada's regulatory approach, the government department, along with Environment Canada, is expected later this week to release a draft assessment indicating that bisphenol A endangers people and the environment. The document outlining this finding will be open for a 60-day public comment period. If no new information is made available through the consultation to overturn the finding, the government will issue a final report outlining control measures within a year.
Independent researchers in dozens of studies have linked trace BPA exposures in animal and test-tube experiments to conditions involving hormone imbalances, including breast and prostate cancer, early puberty and changes in brain structure, particularly for exposures during key points of fetal or early neonatal development.
However, industry-funded testing has been unable to confirm these findings. The trade association representing major manufacturers, the American Chemistry Council. based in Arlington, Va., submitted two studies to Health Canada during its assessment indicating BPA has no harmful effects at low doses.