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BPA Declared Toxic


The government of Canada became the first to declare bisphenol A (BPA) to be a toxic substance, a necessary first step to limit the use of the chemical in Canada.

The decision comes on the heels of Canada’s first national physical study of BPA levels found in Canadian citizens, which revealed that 91% of Canadians have the chemical in their bodies, Teenagers are said to have the highest concentrations, with young children having the second highest.

Canada has performed several studies on BPA which point to serious health risks from exposure to it. Animal tests show that BPA can cause reproductive and behavioral abnormalities as well as impairing brain development. Evidence is strong that long term exposure to BPA contributes significantly to risks for cancers, obesity, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.

Studies describe BPA as a synthetic form of estrogen which disrupts the endocrine system. Concerns over the effects of BPA have resulted in nationwide efforts to ban it from food and beverage containers, Canada first proposed to declare the chemical toxic in 2008, at that time the Canadian government proposed to ban the use of BPAs in baby bottles outright, and limit its use in formula cans.

Calls on the US EPA to ban or limit BPAs in the US have been underway since 2008 but the agency has yet to respond. An environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, is suing the EPA alleging that the agency is dragging its feet on calls to ban BPA from food packaging.

Food industry groups oppose the ban, declaring that risks have been overstated. According to The New York Times, Canada’s move to ban the chemical was strenuously opposed by the chemical industry. Canada has taken additional steps to prevent BPAs from being discharged into the environment as industrial waste according to a report by Environment Canada. The decision is based on studies which show that BPAs do not decompose, and are harmful fish and other organisms in the aquatic environment.

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