Photo via BPA Plastic
Yesterday, news broke that the EPA was launching a major investigation into the impact of Bisphenol A--especially targeting the US water supply. BPA is a chemical that has been documented to have negative health impacts, especially on infants and children, and is commonly found in canned food, plastic bottles, and other everyday household items. It's also long been a target of TreeHugger scrutiny, so seeing the EPA take the issue seriously is encouraging. Here's what the investigation will cover: According to the AP (via the Huffpo Green),
Federal regulators have been ramping up their scrutiny of the controversial plastic-hardener at the behest of scientists and activists who say it can interfere with infant growth and development.BPA has been definitively found to cause cancerous tumors and abnormalities in mammals.
The EPA said in a statement it will begin measuring levels of BPA in drinking and ground water. More than 1 million pounds of BPA are released into the environment each year, according to the agency. The EPA will also "look for ways to reduce unnecessary exposures, including assessing substitutes."
It's good news that the EPA is proceeding with a wide-scale investigation, especially since the FDA, the agency that should be most responsible for its regulation, has been dragging its heels on doing the same. In 2008, that agency ruled that it was safe for 'trace amounts' of BPA to leach out of food containers--last year, they updated that ruling to state that there was "some concern".
It must be noted that the EPA said in a statement the following: "It is important to recognize that EPA is not proposing any regulatory action regarding human health." Which is why it's hoped that EPA action will put some pressure on the FDA (which is currently studying the issue) to step up to the plate.