Image: somegeekintn via Flickr/CC BY
This has to be one of the weirder anecdotes in the ongoing BPA saga in the US. Maine governor Paul LePage was discussing the health risks of BPA the other day, and decided that it wasn't much of an issue. The only bad thing that could come out of too much exposure to BPA, he believes, would be women growing little beards. You can't make this stuff up.
Here's his amazingly scientifically-minded quote, via the Bangor Daily News:
"Quite frankly, the science that I'm looking at says there is no [problem]," LePage said. "There hasn't been any science that identifies that there is a problem."Hmmmm. Well, so as long as they're just little beards, I suppose it's no big deal. If BPA were to cause, say, some ZZ Top-esque thickets of beards on our nation's women, then we'd have a problem -- but we can handle some Carson Daly-style stubble (is that guy still relevant enough to reference in blog posts?).
LePage then added: "The only thing that I've heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards."
Anyhow, I probably don't need to point out how far off base the governor is -- Bisphenol A is an endocrine disruptor, and has been shown to cause a host of health issues, especially developmental problems in children. It's estrogenic, which is probably where the governor's bizarre assertion came from. But however could he have come up with such an oddly dismissive idea?
This Mother Jones headline should sum it up: Maine "Little Beards" Gov LePage Hired Pro-BPA Lobbyists. And lobbyists say the darnedest things, don't they?