BPA—Still Around … and Around … and Around

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We’ve reported on the dangerous effects of BPA, an additive in some plastics, many times over the past year. Most recently we’ve learned about the way it may increase breast cancer risk, the unexpected places we might find it, and how it may affect our blood pressure. Given these findings along with other well-researched health risks we might expect BPA to be  leaving our food and beverage products soon. Right?

Right?

Sadly, no. Sonya Lunder of Environmental Working Group explains that this is not the case. Are you outraged yet?

Lunders describes how the FDA upheld its position that “BPA is safe at the current levels occurring in foods” last month. This may be in no small part to the can manufacturers of America, a $126.3 Billion industry that has strong interest in keeping the status quo.

Lunder’s analysis of the FDA’s logic is that they are following a somewhat antiquated science of defining toxicity as that which causes cancer or tissue damage. This does NOT necessarily allow for the subtle but well-proven effects that BPA can have on the endocrine system.

Her frustration also comes from the timing of the FDA’s declaration. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the FDA have recently allocated a hefty amount of funding towards an in-depth inquiry into BPA called CLARITY-BPA which is far from finished. Furthermore the FDA’s  data was based on a flawed study:

FDA based its December 2014 safety determination on the results of a 90-day toxicity study it published last January, which was a pilot for the massive CLARITY study. FDA concluded that the study found no low dose effects of BPA on study animals. However the study suffered from methodological problems and unintentionally exposed its control animals to low doses of BPA, making it impossible to draw any conclusions about the safety of everyday BPA exposures for Americans. Environmental Health News explains the issues with the FDA study in more detail here."

While it is unfortunate the hear that the FDA did not feel it necessary to put greater limits on public exposure to BPA, it is heartening to know that the CLARITY study is underway and that we, the public, are becoming more aware of the risks that it may pose.

PHOTO: via flickr

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Read all articles by Damon Cory-Watson

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