NTP Finalizes Report on Bisphenol A
The National Toxicology Program has finalized a report on bisphenol A, or BPA. BPA is a chemical used in many polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins.
Balintfy: The National Toxicology Program has finalized a report on bisphenol A, or BPA. BPA is a chemical used in many polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins.
Shelby: Polycarbonate plastic is used to make water bottles as well as baby bottles; and epoxy resin is used to line metal food cans.
Balintfy: Dr. Michael Shelby is the Director of the Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction, or CERHR.
Shelby: And this bisphenol A, the individual molecules, can leech out of the plastic or the epoxy resin into food or drink that is contained within these bottles or cans. In addition, we believe that as the plastic or epoxy resin decomposes, that additional bisphenol A becomes available to leech out into food and drink.
Balintfy: The report, released September 3rd, is part of a lengthy review of the scientific literature on BPA and takes into consideration public and peer review comments received on an earlier draft report. The conclusions are based primarily on a broad body of research involving numerous studies. According to Dr. John Bucher, Associate Director of the National Toxicology Program, the key conclusions of the report include expression of "some concern" over the potential for developmental toxicicty for fetuses, infants, and children.
Bucher: And this was based primarily on evidence from animal studies that would suggest that there might be effects on the development of the prostate gland, and the brain, and also for the potential for behavioral effects. There was also a lower level of concern, minimal concern, expressed over potential for changes in the development of the mammary gland and also for the age at which females attain puberty. There was also a level of minimal concern expressed for workers exposed in occupational settings. But with the exception of that, exposures to adults were considered to be not particularly risky for exposures to BPA.
Balintfy: Dr. Bucher adds that the report is
lengthy and detailed. This because there are so many levels of
uncertainty in the information that has been developed on BPA
with regards to its risks for human reproduction and development.
Bucher: The fact that there are so many levels
of uncertainty make it very difficult for us to make any kind
of overall recommendations as to how exactly the U.S. public
should view bisphenol A right at this point, but it clearly has
also identified a number of research areas that we think need
to be followed up on in great detail to give us a better handle
and reduce some of these uncertainties and allow a clearer picture
of exactly what we should be doing as a society with regards
to exposures to BPA.