Issue Date: September 8, 2008
Bisphenol A Remains Of Some Concern
Current levels of exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), used in making polycarbonate bottles and epoxy-based canned food liners, are of "some concern" for developmental and behavioral effects in fetuses, infants, and children, according to a final assessment released on Sept. 3 by the National Toxicology Program. The report comes just weeks after FDA declared in a draft assessment that the estrogenic chemical is safe in food-contact products such as baby bottles and infant formula cans (C&EN, Aug. 25, page 10). NTP's Center for Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction, located at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C., has been evaluating since December 2005 the potential for BPA to cause reproductive and developmental effects in humans. Last April, the center expressed its concerns in a draft report, leading to a congressional investigation into the safety of BPA. The final NTP assessment reaffirms the earlier concerns and points to the need for more research. "There remains considerable uncertainty whether the changes seen in the animal studies are directly applicable to humans, and whether they would result in clear adverse health effects," NTP Associate Director John R. Bucher said in a statement. "But we have concluded that the possibility that BPA may affect human development cannot be dismissed."
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