Photo: David Paul Ohmer, Flickr, CC BY
Effective immediately, the chemical Bisphenol A is officially considered toxic in Canada. BPA, as you're likely aware, is a chemical commonly found in plastics, food cans, water bottles, and paper receipts. BPA mimics the hormone estrogen and has been linked to a number of severe health woes, including breast cancer and early puberty in women. Canada has long been more proactive in taking on the use of BPA in manufacturing than the US -- a proposal was made in 2008 to declare BPA toxic, and Canada is already in the process of banning infant products that contain it. Now, BPA is officially toxic. And Canada had good reason to change its tune when it did:According to CBC,
In August, Statistics Canada reported that measurable levels of BPA were found in the urine of 91 per cent of Canadians aged six to 79.Canada is now the first nation in the world to have officially deemed BPA toxic -- in fact, the first major jurisdiction. The European Union recently completed an investigation of the chemical, but didn't label it toxic in the end.
"Health Canada considers that sufficient evidence relating to human health has been presented to justify the conclusion that bisphenol A is harmful to human life and should be added to Schedule 1 of [the Canadian Environmental Protection Act]," the federal government reported in the Canada Gazette.
In the United States, conscious companies have been phasing out products that contain BPA due to consumer demand, but the FDA has thus far made little progress in properly investigating the chemical -- only recently has the body agreed to reexamine the issue, and a study is expected to be completed next year. The powerful commercial chemical lobby here in the states had more than a little to do with that. Perhaps Canada's ruling will persuade regulators to pick up the pace.