While Congress, along with seven states, consider bans on the use of Bisphenol A in children's products, the Food and Drug Administration has not backed off its endorsement of the chemical as safe.
The FDA's stance -- which it determined based on two industry-funded studies and to the exclusion of dozens, if not hundreds, of independent scientific research raising serious questions about the safety of the chemical -- is coming under increasing fire abroad, too. An international consortium of scientists is expected to reject the FDA's rationale for approving of the chemical's use in a wide range of consumer products, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, whose reporters Meg Kissinger and Susanne Rust are among The Daily Green's 2009 nominees for a Heart of Green media award because of their investigative reports on Bisphenol A and other suspect chemicals.
Bisphenol A is found in the blood of nearly every American tested, and is used to make hard, clear plastics for food containers, dental sealants and the sealants that line food and beverage cans.
As concerns over the chemical have mounted -- largely due to the reporting of the Sentinel reporters over the last year or so -- major retailers and manufacturers like Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and Nalgene (also recognized for Heart of Green Award consideration) have vowed to phase out the use of Bisphenol A in children's products. Even Sunoco, one of the chemical's biggest manufacturers, has stopped selling it to companies that might use it in a children's product.
Canada has banned Bisphenol A in many products for babies and young children, and Suffolk County, N.Y., could become the first government in the U.S. to do so. The National Toxicology Program has raised concerns about Bisphenol A's potential to disrupt the normal development of fetuses and babies, and the Environmental Protection Agency has been criticized for failing to consider the cumulative effect of hormone-disrupting chemicals that Americans are routinely exposed to.
For more information about Bisphenol A and the other ubiquitous hormone-disrupting chemical of the moment, phthalates, see The Daily Green's How to Avoid Bisphenol A and Phthalates.
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