Fast Company on the Real Story Behind Bisphenol A


Stunning photography by Nigel Cox in Fast Company

David Case writes a remarkable article in Fast Company on the politics of Bisphenol A (BPA), subtitled:

How a handful of consultants used Big Tobacco's tactics to sow doubt about science and hold off regulation of BPA, a chemical in hundreds of products that could be harming an entire generation.

It pulls together many of the stories we have covered in TreeHugger, and a lot more, and puts them into one damning package that the FDA and EPA will have to address. Money quote:
Bisphenol A Is In Your Tomato Sauce

You might expect the government to start controlling the use of BPA, but the track record suggests otherwise. The United States has a long tradition of keeping harmful substances -- lead, DDT, tobacco, PCBs -- on the market for decades after scientists find adverse effects. The National Toxicology Program report citing "some concern" has no regulatory impact, and the FDA has repeatedly deemed BPA "safe," even in the face of criticism. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, who has launched numerous investigations into the agency, contends, "The FDA has got to be a watchdog, not a business partner with industry."

The EPA could theoretically step in, but that's unlikely too. The agency "has no real program to regulate industrial chemicals, as a result of deep flaws in the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act," says Andy Igrejas, environmental-health campaign director for the Pew Charitable Trusts. Under the act, the EPA needs to show "substantial evidence" that a chemical is harmful, and must weigh the costs of restrictions against the economic benefits of keeping the chemical in commerce. That's a byzantine chore and helps explain why the agency has managed to restrict only five chemicals in the law's 33-year history. Under the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act, Congress ordered the agency to screen industrial chemicals to determine if they interfere with the endocrine system, a program that might have flagged BPA. Nine years after the 1999 deadline, the agency has yet to screen a single chemical.

Read it all at Fast Company

And read TreeHugger's coverage on Bisphenol A here:

BPA Update: Canada Declares it Toxic, FDA Chair's Donor was Michigan's "First Polluter"
FDA Chair Studying BPA Took $5 Million Donation From BPA Supporter
Final Report on Bisphenol A: It May Harm Kids
FDA Says BPA Is Safe For Babies
Bisphenol A: How Wal-Mart Became the New FDA
Quotes of the Day: Opinions on the FDA Declaring BPA Safe
Don't Buy A Nalgene Water Bottle Until You Read This
Nalgene Dumps Bisphenol A Like Hot Potato :
Possible Effects of BPA
More Bad News About Bisphenol A: It Interferes with Chemotherapy Treatments
Yet Another Bisphenol A Pile-on: Linked to Heart Disease, Diabetes and Liver Problems
New Study: BPA May Make You Stupid and Depressed

Sources of BPA:

Bisphenol A Is In Your Tomato Sauce
Bisphenol A Could Be In Your Teeth
BPA Danger may be greater from Tin Cans than Water Bottles
Polycarbonate Water bottles
Canada Calls Bisphenol A "Dangerous"
Time to Pack In the Polycarbonates
Bottled Water - Lifting the Lid :
MEC Nixes Nalgenes

On Phthalates in TreeHugger:

Do Babies Exposed to Phthalates Have Smaller Penises?
Congress Will Do USEPA's Job: Reduce Childhood Exposure to Phthalates in Toys
Ask Treehugger: What Is An Endocrine Distruptor?
Are Boys Disappearing Because of Gender Bender Chemicals?

Tags: Bisphenol A | EPA

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