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Environmental Studies

BPA - Controversy Study

Abstract
History
Current Issues

          Government
          Citizen Action
          Analysis

Conclusion
References & Links


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BPA - Controversy Study

History

1891 – Bisphenol A first synthesized

1930s – Used as a synthetic estrogen

1953 -Combined with phosgene, BPA yielded a clear, shatter resistant plastic that is now used in water bottles, headlights, eyeglass lenses, DVDs and baby bottles. These actions were approved under the FDA’s food additive regulations.

1976 – Congress passes the Toxic Substances Control Act, the first law in the United States to regulate industrial chemical compounds. BPA is one of 62,000 compounds grandfathered in, presumed safe by the Environmental Protection Agency.

1993 – The EPA sets a safety standard for BPA based on high-dose studies. This remains the standard, despite studies during the next 15 years linking very low doses to cancer, diabetes, fertility problems and behavioral disorders

1997 – Articles begin to appear in scientific journals identifying that BPA had negative effects on the reproductive and endocrine systems in animals at doses well below the presumed no adverse effect level (NOAEL) (Colerangle and Roy, 1997; Nagel et al., 1997; Steinmetz et al., 1997; Steinmetz et al., 1998; vom Saal et al., 1998)

1999 – The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) and The Bisphenol A Sector Group of the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) fail to reproduce the findings of vom Saal.

2003 – The Center for the Evaluation of Risk to Human Reproduction at the National Toxicology Program evaluates BPA as a reproductive and developmental toxin. The center, part of the National Institutes of Health, hires a contractor, Sciences International, to lead the assessment.

2003-2006 – Sciences International performs the literature review for BPA toxicity, choosing and summarizing studies for an expert advisory panel. The panel finds BPA is safe.

2004 - Harvard Center for Risk Analysis found “no consistent affirmative evidence for low-dose BPA effects”.

2004 – National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found detectable levels of BPA in 93% of samples.

2007 – Reproductive Toxicology paper published : a group of researchers lead by vom Saal, analyzed hundreds of government funded studies and found 90% concluded BPA was a health risk.

2008 – FDA declares BPA safe, yet acknowledges potential risk.

“some concern for effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and children at current human exposures to bisphenol A.”

“minimal concern for effects on the mammary gland and an earlier age for puberty for females in fetuses, infants, and children at current human exposures to bisphenol A”

2008 – House Democrats launch investigation into the use of BPA in infant formula containers.

2010/01 – FDA releases statement expressing concern about the human health risks of BPA.

2010 – EPA adds BPA to its list of chemicals of concern because of it potential adverse impacts on the environment, human and animal health.



Figure 2: (NIEHS)

 


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