Wednesday, April 16

Spastic over plastic

The National Toxicology Program announced yesterday that bisphenol-A, a common chemical compound used in water bottles, baby-food containers and CDs, could pose harm to humans in the form of cancers and developmental disorders.

(To get an exhaustive rundown of peer-reviewed research on the compound and its lab effects on sperm counts, brain development, cancers, etc., visit The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, and click the "Bisphenol-A" link on the left column. Or check out the Environmental Working Group's information, which is a little more accessible to non-scientists.)

The draft report from the toxicology program, which is part of the National Institutes of Health and informs the EPA and FDA, is considered a pretty big about-face from previous U.S. government reluctance to acknowledge some of the dangers of bisphenol-A, a topic I covered in a feature story last week.

The reconsideration of the health impacts from the U.S. comes just as Canada has announced it will probably start labeling products with bisphenol-A as toxic. The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce is also in the midst of investigating whether the chemical industry has exercised unfair influence over research and regulation of bisphenol-A.


Joe said...

The Environmental Working Group link is good. Fucking scary but very interesting.
I just wonder about the variables involved with the BPA leaching into the food - does it need to reach a certain temperature? Time exposed? Should we rise up and demand answers?

What gives JZ?

I'm spreading the word either way - "Throw out everything you own and eat."

Zaffos said...

It's my understanding that leaching is more dependent on temperature (that's why you hear warnings about microwaving certain kinds of plastics) and also the contents a chemical comes in contact with (some will bind really well to fats).

Considering 93 percent of people have bisphenol-A in their bodies, it's definitely happening and being conscious of the makeup of possessions and eats is just one avenue.