BPA Added To California’s Prop 65 List of Harmful Chemicals

Bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, is being added to California’s Proposition 65 list of toxic chemicals. The Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee of the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment voted unanimously (7-0) on May 7 to include BPA on the state’s Prop 65 list.

Voted into law by California voters in 1986, Prop 65 requires the state to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. The list has grown to about 800 chemicals. Businesses are required under the law to notify Californians about “significant” amounts of chemicals in the products they buy.

Read more about Prop 65

Panelists spoke to a scientific advisory committee about the evidence that BPA causes harm to the female reproductive system of both humans and laboratory animals. Renee Sharp, Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) director of research, spoke to the committee about the harmful effects of BPA.

“This important victory will pave the way for greater protection for California residents who are currently exposed to BPA in everyday items such as canned food and receipts,” said Sharp in a statement. “The panel affirmed what hundreds of scientists and a massive amount of evidence has consistently shown – that BPA harms the female reproductive system."

Sharp said that adding BPA to the Prop 65 list might motivate manufacturers to remove BPA from their products. California will create a guideline for warning labels on products that contain BPA.

The Prop 65 listing puts California at odds with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) stance on BPA. The FDA states on its website that BPA is “safe at the current levels occurring in foods.” The FDA claims that its “ongoing safety review of scientific evidence” supports BPA being safe for “currently approved uses in food containers and packaging.”

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) lists the findings of studies of the effects of BPA on animals:

  • Mimicked the female hormone estrogen.
  • Caused pre-cancerous changes in the mammary and prostate glands.
  • Altered development of the brain, causing behavioral abnormalities and earlier onset of puberty.
  • Caused reproductive abnormalities such as lower sperm counts and hormonal changes.

The best way to avoid BPA is to not eat canned foods and beverages, and avoid using polycarbonate plastics or plastics marked with a #7 for storing food or beverages, the NRDC recommends.

Read more about how to avoid BPA

Image: Salvation Army USA West

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By Gina-Marie Cheeseman| May 12, 2015
Categories:  Live

About the Author

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer armed with a passion for healthy living and a degree in journalism. Hailing from the dry, sunny Central San Joaquin Valley, she hasn't let the heat fry her brain!

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