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The Big Test for BPA

Although media attention has focused on BPA (bisphenol A) in baby bottles and as a liner in canned baby food and other foods, it can be considered pervasive in our everyday lives. And, based on scientific data, governments have taken action to reduce the levels of BPA in consumer products.

However, as we try to make changes towards safer materials in the products we use, we need to consider how governments make decisions about chemicals in consumer products. We assume that our government has all the necessary information on a chemical to ensure that that it is safe for use – for human health and the environment. Is the scientific data on a chemical always accurate, reliable and adequate?

There has been considerable debate about the harmful effects of BPA on the one hand and the validity of the laboratory test methods that generated the data on the other. In general, industry-funded studies have resulted in data that show a less troublesome picture of BPA as compared to the results from other researchers. Clearly, , industry and academia often have very different goals when they research a chemical.

This resulting gap makes it difficult to determine the true properties of a chemical like BPA, where very small amounts can possibly have very harmful effects. With such a great divide between the sides, the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) will be bringing researchers together to allow for more collaboration and integration on BPA research. Their aim is to arrive at a body of research on BPA that can be readily compared with industry findings. Hopefully then, all governments will have the data they need to make more informed decisions on effects of BPA to human health and the environment including its use in consumer packaging.

For more details, please see:
The Big Test for BPA: The Nature News

This article was written by Sandra Madray, Prevent Cancer Now Board Member

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