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Health & Baby

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Bisphenol A (BPA): Answers to Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About the Plastics Chemical Bisphenol A

Is exposure to bisphenol A safe for humans? continued...

However, much of the research on BPA has been done on lab animals or has come from observational studies in people, which don't prove cause and effect. BPA has not been proven to be responsible for any disease or condition.

The National Toxicology Program reports that it has “some concern” for effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and children at current human exposures to bisphenol A.

Companies that use BPA in their products, as well as industry organizations, including the American Chemical Society, insist that BPA is safe. The North American Metal Packaging Alliance, a trade organization representing canned food and beverage makers, credits BPA linings for the elimination of contamination and foodborne illness from canned goods.

Further research is ongoing. In total, the National Institutes of Health has about $30 million in funded research investigating BPA, which may help answer some of the ongoing questions about its safety.

What does the FDA say?

In 2008, the FDA issued a draft report stating that BPA is safe at current levels of exposure.

But in 2010, the agency changed its position as further evidence accumulated. The FDA's web site states that it “shares the perspective of the National Toxicology Program that recent studies provide reason for some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants,and children. FDA also recognizes substantial uncertainties with respect to the overall interpretation of these studies and their potential implications for human health effects of BPA exposure.”

On March 30, 2012, the FDA denied a petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) that asked the FDA to ban BPA in food packaging. In its response letter to the NRDC, the FDA states that it "takes this concern seriously" and is "continuing to review scientific data concerning the safety of BPA," but there was not enough scientific evidence to support the ban.

How can I avoid bisphenol A?

You probably can’t -- not entirely. BPA is in so many types of consumer products and packaging that virtually everyone has some levels of BPA in his or her body.

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