Environmental Protection

EPA Considering New Toxicity Testing for BPA

Following a BPA Action Plan announced in March 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting public comment on possible toxicity testing and environmental sampling to study BPA’s potential environmental impacts. BPA has been shown to cause reproductive and developmental effects in animal studies. This action is part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s comprehensive effort to strengthen EPA’s chemical management program and assure the safety of chemicals people encounter in their daily lives.

BPA is used in the manufacture of a wide range of consumer and industrial products including food-can liners, hard polycarbonate plastics, epoxy paints and coatings, and thermal papers, including some cash register receipts. Releases of BPA to the environment exceed 1 million pounds per year.

“A number of concerns have been raised about the potential human health and environmental effects of BPA,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The data collected under the testing EPA is considering would help EPA better understand and address the potential environmental impacts of BPA.”

In January 2010 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it would further examine potential human health effects and reduce exposure to BPA in the food supply, which represents the greatest source of exposure to people. EPA is working with FDA, Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences on research under way to better determine and evaluate the potential health consequences of BPA exposures. At the conclusion of that research, EPA will determine if additional actions may be needed to address human health concerns from non-food use exposures.


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