BPA declared toxic in Canada

Canada is listing bisphenol A (BPA) on its register of toxic substances, making it the first country to do so. The move came on the heels of a Statistics Canada report that found 91 percent of Canadians tested positive for BPA in their urine, with children ages 6 to 11 having the highest levels.

BPA is a key component of hard and clear polycarbonate plastics, such as a number of water bottles and baby bottles, though there are many BPA-free varieties of those now. It’s also found in canned food linings, sales receipts and CD liners, among other places. It is suspected of disrupting the endocrine system, immune system, hormones and reproductive development. While Canada is the first to call it a toxic substance, Denmark has banned BPA in materials that come into contact with food and drinks, and France and several U.S. states have banned baby bottles made with BPA. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is investigating whether to place BPA on a chemicals-of-concern list. And while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said for the first time this year that it has “some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland,” BPA is still considered safe by U.S. regulatory bodies.

The American Chemistry Council objected to Canada’s action, saying that declaring BPA toxic would “not be based on the best available data and scientific knowledge,” according to the Toronto Star. The ACC requested a more complete review of BPA, but the Canadian government declined.