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  • Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical that has been present in many hard plastic bottles and metal-based food and beverage cans since the 1960s. This type of plastic is also used to make some types of beverage containers, compact disks, plastic dinnerware, impact-resistant safety equipment, automobile parts, and toys. BPA epoxy resins are used in the protective linings of food cans, in dental sealants, and in the cash register receipts we handle every day!! The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) scientists found BPA in the urine of nearly all of the people tested, which indicates widespread exposure to BPA in the U.S. population. Studies employing standardized toxicity tests have thus far supported the safety of current low levels of human exposure to BPA. However, on the basis of results from recent studies using novel approaches to test for subtle effects, both the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health and FDA have some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children. In cooperation with the National Toxicology Program, FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research is carrying out in-depth studies to answer key questions and clarify uncertainties about the risks of BPA. -

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    July 26, 2011

    EPA Considering New Toxicity Testing and Environmental Sampling for BPA

    WASHINGTON – 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 that Americans 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.

    EPA issued an action plan on BPA in March 2010 outlining possible steps the agency might take to address risks presented by BPA, including the testing discussed in today’s announcement. EPA’s BPA action plan is available at http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/actionplans/bpa.html.

    Comments on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) must be received on or before September 26, 2011. The ANPR and supporting information can be found in docket number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-0812 on the Federal eRulemaking Portal, http://www.regulations.gov.