Bisphenol-A in the Washington spotlight

June 9: As a US House of Representatives committee tomorrow discusses the safety issues of Bisphenol-A in consumer products, the North American canmaking industry is fighting to resist a media campaign that it sees as attempting to demonise the chemical.
Bisphenol-A is a building block in the production of epoxy coatings but has been linked with being an oestrogen mimic, and is alleged to cause low sperm counts in humans and animals.
The canmaking industry believes it has science on its side, and is marshalling its arguments to counter the threat in North America, just as it did in Europe three years ago.
Despite industry toxicology studies showing that Bisphenol-A is safe to use for coatings and plastics in a range of applications, recent studies have also highlighted the material’s prevalence in humans.
Following concerns in Canada over Bisphenol-A’s use in polycarbonate baby bottles and milk powder cans, the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce (CEC) will in Washington tomorrow quiz a number of experts from organisations that include the Food and Drug Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is being targeted by campaigners who have questioned its acceptance of a toxicology study from the plastics industry which did not have peer review.
In April, the FDA said its advice to consumers was that products containing BPA are safe and there is no reason to discontinue using them.

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