BPA - Controversy Study
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
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
“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)