Friday, October 22, 2010

Canada Declares BPA Toxic, Sets Stage for More Bans

Canada has declared bisphenol A a toxic chemical,
prompting calls for far-reaching curbs on the industrial chemical that
is used in everything from the linings of aluminum cans to coatings on
electronic till receipts.

Canada added the compound, known as BPA, to a list of substances
deemed potentially harmful to health or the environment in a notice
published in the Canada Gazette on Wednesday.

That makes it easier for Ottawa to regulate the use of the chemical,
perhaps by limiting how much BPA can be released into air or water or
perhaps with outright bans on its use in specific food containers.

"The risk assessment of BPA put together by our federal government is
very strong in terms of its conclusions, so I think it's a foregone
conclusion that it will drive further action rather quickly," said
Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defense, which
campaigned to ban BPA.

BPA is mass produced and has been used for decades to harden plastics.
It is widely used to line food and beverage containers, and a recent
government report said it was present in the bodies of 91 percent of

"We are literally marinating in it on a minute-by-minute basis," said Smith.

The primary health concerns center on BPA's potential effects as an
endocrine disrupter, which can mimic or interfere with the body's
natural hormones and potentially damage development, especially of
young children.

"Our science indicated that Bisphenol A may be harmful to both human
health and the environment and we were the first country to take bold
action in the interest of Canadians," Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq
said in a statement.


Smith said Canada has been a world leader in its crackdown on BPA. It
promised the first steps to control use of the chemical in 2008, and
in March this year banned plastic baby bottles that contain BPA. A
next step could curb BPA use in the lining of baby formula tins, he


Post a Comment