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ACC slams Californian plan to list BPA as developmental toxicant

By Joe Whitworth , 28-Jan-2013
Last updated on 28-Jan-2013 at 12:25 GMT

A move by a Californian public health agency to list bisphenol A (BPA) as a developmental toxicant has been called “scientifically unjustified” by the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) published a Notice of Intent to list BPA as a developmental toxicant under the Proposition 65 authoritative bodies listing mechanism last week.

It is requesting comments as to whether BPA meets the criteria in the Proposition 65 regulations under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 by 25 February.

The proposition intends to protect citizens and drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and inform people about chemical exposure.

“Scientifically unjustified”

Steven G. Hentges, Ph.D. Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group of the American Chemistry Council said the move was scientifically unjustified.

“The weight of scientific evidence does not support OEHHA’s intention to list BPA under Proposition 65 and this action sharply contrasts with the results of the earlier assessment conducted by California’s own scientific experts.

“Based on their own detailed evaluation, the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DART-IC) had unanimously concluded in July of 2009 that BPA does not satisfy the listing criteria for developmental toxicants under Proposition 65.”

If BPA is listed under Proposition 65, businesses that manufacture, distribute or sell products with BPA in the state would have to provide a warning if their product or activity exposes the public or employees to the chemical.

The agency plans to adopt a Maximum Allowable Dose Level (MADL) of 290 micrograms per day of exposure.

OEHHA requested information relevant to the possible listing of BPA in a note published in the California Regulatory Notice Register on 12 February 2010.

“The formal identification of Bisphenol A as causing developmental toxicity is therefore supported by sufficient evidence of adverse developmental effects resulting from exposure during the prenatal period, and is consistent with findings from studies involving exposure during the postnatal period,” said the OEHHA.

NTP research basis

OEHHA said it is relying on the National Toxicology Program Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction’s (NTP-CERHR) report in 2008 which concluded that the chemical causes developmental toxicity in laboratory animals at high levels of exposure.

NTP identified eight studies as its basis for the conclusion and defined “high” doses to be greater than five milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day (mg/kg-day).

Hentges added that the state proposed a safe exposure level for BPA that provides a sufficient margin of safety to protect consumers, infants and young children.

“The Maximum Allowable Dose Level (MADL) is consistent with the safe exposure levels cited by numerous other regulatory bodies around the world that have assessed the full body of scientific evidence and concluded that BPA is not a risk to human health.

“It is important for consumers and manufacturers to know that the consensus of major government agencies around the world…supports the safety of BPA in food contact materials and other consumer products.”

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