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California officially adds BPA to its dangerous chemicals list

By Jenni Spinner , 16-Apr-2013
Last updated on 16-Apr-2013 at 12:33 GMT

The state of California has placed bisphenol-A (BPA) on its ranking of dangerous chemicals that should not be used in products consumers are exposed to.

The ruling does not place an outright ban on BPA in food packaging and other materials handled by the consuming public. However, the decision could lead to stringent warning label requirements, which likely would cause shoppers to shun any products labelled to contain the material.

The ruling is based on a number of studies indicating that BPA could have an adverse impact on reproductive systems and other health issues. The decision is based on the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (aka Proposition 65) which is intended to guard the public against harmful chemicals.

The American Chemistry Council , an advocacy group representing manufacturers, is firmly against the blacklisting of BPA. In a recent letter to the head of California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), the group indicated its members object to the designation of BPA as a health risk, citing conflicting and contrary information in reports and adding that the OEHHA has “fundamentally misrepresented” the National Toxicology Program Report on BPA cited in the recent ruling.

Meanwhile, environmental activists such as Sarah Janssen, senior scientist of the National Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) health program, applauded the decision.

“This is a public health victory that has been a long time coming,” Janssen wrote in a recent blog , adding that “even without required warning labels, retailers are already on alert.  They are already scrambling to have BPA-free products on their store shelves.  Having BPA on the Prop 65 list is one more reason for going BPA-free and it is going to further drive the market away from using this toxic chemical.”

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