Canadian Plastics

BPA is toxic, Canada rules

Bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical used to make some hard plastic containers, bottles and toys, has officially be...

October 13, 2010   Canadian Plastics

Bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical used to make some hard plastic containers, bottles and toys, has officially been declared a toxic substance in Canada.

 

The federal government added BPA to Canada’s toxic substances list on October 13. In so doing, Canada becomes the first jurisdiction in the world to declare BPA toxic. 

 

“We are continuing our leadership on this issue and Canadians can rest assured that we are working hard to monitor and manage bisphenol A,” Environment Minister Jim Prentice said in a statement.

 

BPA, also found in resins that coat the interior of food cans to prevent corrosion, has been shown to mimic the hormone estrogen and does not occur naturally in the environment.

The government said the listing allows it to develop regulations to manage the risks posed by the chemical.

 

The move comes on the heels of the European Food Safety Authority recently evaluating the chemical and reaching the opposite conclusion. In the U.S., there is a major regulatory effort to study the chemical, but results aren’t expected until next year.

 

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) was quick to weigh in on Canada’s decision. “Just days after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) once again confirmed that BPA is safe for use in food-contact items, Environment Canada’s announcement is contrary to the weight of worldwide scientific evidence, unwarranted and will unnecessarily confuse and alarm the public,” said the ACC’s Steve Hentges. ‘’This puts Environment Canada at odds with the recent conclusions of EFSA, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, all of which have concluded that BPA is safe in contact with food. The decision also appears to contradict the very recent opinion of Health Canada, which stated in August that ‘the current dietary exposure to BPA through food packaging is not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborns and infants.'”


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