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When Will FDA Speak Out on Toxic Plastics Chemical BPA?

Saturday, December 12, 2009 General News J E 4
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Immediate action needed to protect public while agency finalizes safety review

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It's been almost two weeks since the Food and Drug Administration missed its deadline to announce the results of a new safety assessment of the toxic plastics chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, and each day more newborn babies and pregnant women are left unprotected from this hormone-disrupting compound linked to breast cancer and birth defects.

About 125,000 babies have been born in the United States since Nov. 30, the FDA's missed deadline. The Breast Cancer Fund said it's time for the FDA to issue an immediate ban on BPA in hard plastic food containers and require labeling of all other food packaging containing BPA.

"It's important that the FDA take the time to do the safety review right - especially since its last review of BPA was compromised by an over-reliance on studies funded by the chemical industry," said Janet Nudelman at the Breast Cancer Fund. "But it's equally important that the agency take immediate action to protect pregnant women and children from this toxic chemical, in light of the clear and compelling evidence that BPA is harmful."

More than 200 studies show that even very tiny doses of BPA can cross the placenta and cause lasting harm to the developing fetus, increasing risk of breast cancer and other serious health problems. This week researchers at the University of North Carolina and Simon Fraser University in British Columbia announced that daughters of women exposed to BPA while they were pregnant are more likely as two-year-olds to show aggressive and hyperactive behaviors. Last year, Canada became the first country to ban BPA from baby bottles, but the researchers said the study suggests the ban needs to go further.

It's been 13 years since the FDA estimated Americans' daily exposure to BPA to be at levels that have since been linked to breast cancer and birth defects. Four years ago, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found BPA in the blood of more than 90 percent of Americans. Last week, a study by the Environmental Working Group found BPA in 9 of 10 umbilical cord blood samples tested, showing U.S. infants are born pre-polluted with the chemical.

"The weight of the scientific evidence shows that there is no safe level of exposure to BPA," said Nudelman, "and demonstrates why the FDA needs to act now to protect the American people from this highly toxic, hormonally active chemical."

SOURCE Breast Cancer Fund
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