Photo via Daily Green
This Saturday, Canada will become the first nation to formally declare that bisphenol A is a hazard to human health. The country already placed a ban on using the chemical in baby bottles, but this move will land BPA on the Canadian government's list of toxic substances. It will also result in a limited ban of other BPA products. More than that, it's a symbolic victory in the fight to regulate BPA--a fight that's contuining to gain momentum around the world.The Assault on BPA Continues
Canadian environmental groups acknowledge the listing as a "good start," though it will be unclear what the new regulations will actually be until they're published in the Canada Gazette this Saturday. Many want the government to get BPA out of the lining of cans too. However, the Canadian Minister of Health has made statements alleging that adults need not be worried about BPA, and that only infants and newborns are susceptible to the toxin—despite mounting evidence that adults too can suffer from exposure to it.
According to Canada.com,
"The latest research, the first large BPA study in humans published last month by the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, found a "significant relationship" between exposure to the ubiquitous estrogenic chemical and heart disease, diabetes and liver problems."
It's already widely held that BPA is a significant risk to newborns and infants.
BPA in the US – FDA Under Fire
In sharp contrast to an entire national government declaring the BPA a health hazard, the US FDA has deemed the chemical safe since last August. The ruling has been controversial, to put it lightly, and scientists are rallying against it. In fact, an international consortium in Germany just uniformly rejected the FDA's claim:
"It is becoming undeniable that BPA is dangerous," said Laura Vandenberg, a developmental biologist at Tufts University, one of 58 scientists from around the world invited to the conference in Germany. "The FDA's standard for safety is reasonable certainty. It is no longer reasonable to say that BPA is safe."
The consortium has found problems with the two studies being used as benchmarks for the FDA ruling. Both studies were authored by Rochelle Tyl, and both were paid for by the American Chemistry Council—which is a trade association for BPA companies. Now even Tyl acknowledges that there were "errors and inconsistencies" with her work.
Following Canada to a BPA Ban - And Beyond?
So begins a push to get the FDA to reassess its stance on the chemical in the US, and to further oust BPA from other products in Canada. But it won't come easily—BPA is used in literally millions of products and constitutes a major industry. The powerful chemical lobby is bound to fight any findings revealing BPA as harmful to the death.
But now with the studies supporting BPA debunked, public knowledge of the dangers of BPA growing, and now a neighbor to the north that has officially listed the chemical as "toxic," perhaps the US will finally see some movement to get the harmful chemical out of our products.