BPA Controversy Heats Up

| 8/10/2007 12:00:00 AM

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We talked about the concerns surrounding bisphenol A (BPA) in plastics recently in the Bottled Water entry.

Earlier this week, a panel organized by the National Toxicology Program, a division of the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services, concluded that the chemical poses minimal overall health risks to adults and some concern for children and developing fetuses.

Though a group of several dozen scientists released a statement in the journal Reproductive Toxicology last week warning that BPA is likely causing serious reproductive disorders for people. According to the L.A. Times, the group of scientists reviewed some 700 studies of the controversial chemical, and concluded that it has a link to female reproductive disorders. (For more, see Grist.org or Forbes.com.)

Critics of the NIH report, including the Environmental Working Group, allege that it's biased toward the chemical industry, full of factual errors and purposefully downplays the health risks associated with BPA.

According to Environment California, BPA is most commonly found in polycarbonate plastic, used to make baby bottles and water bottles, epoxy resins (coatings that line food containers, such as soup cans), and white dental sealants. The Green Guide recommends using #2 plastics in place of polycarbonate, which is often labeled #7.

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