The chemical that I have chosen toresearch in Bisphenol-A, also known as BPA for short.
This harmful organicsynthetic chemical is added to various plastics to harden them while keepingthem lightweight. For instance, BPA is used to make a hard, clear plastic knownas polycarbonate. Polycarbonate can be found in bicycle helmets, opticallenses, roofing materials for structures, as well as some food contactmaterials such as infant baby bottles. BPA can also be found in epoxy resins,which is the protective coating on the inside of some metal-based food andbeverage cans. Afterreviewing studies and testing done upon animals, research showed thatBisphenol-A (BPA) could increase chances for cancer, obesity, as well as impairbrain, sperm, and ovary development in children who were exposed directly or inutero. Now even though “results from animal studies do not always apply tohumans, “it is foolhardy to ignore these signals,” warns PhilipLandrigan, director of the Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Centerin New York City”.
(Moyer, M. W. (2010).
BISPHENOL A. ScientificAmerican, 303(3), 73.) Bisphenol-Awas first approved by the FDA in the early 1960s.
Despite the controversialdata that shows how BPA can in fact be detrimental to one’s health, in Augustof 2008 the FDA released a report stating that BPA is in fact safe in foodcontact materials. Despite the Natural Resources Defense Council submitting acitizen’s petition to regulate the use of BPA in human food and packaging, TheFDA still denied this request on March 30, 2012. Their response stated that thepetition did not provide sufficient enough information to persuade the FDA tomake this change and that further scientific studies and reviews would be maderegarding this issue. As of current, the state where I am living (Texas) hasnot banned the use of BPA.
In November of 2012 though, a lawmaker filed a billthat would ban the manufacturing and distribution of children’s productscontaining BPA. This was the third time where this bill was proposed, once in2009 and again in 2011, both times the bill “died” in committee. The currentbill that was filed met opposition from the Toy Industry Association, the TexasAssociation of Manufacturers, and the Texas Chemical Council. On acommunity-based level, I believe that the best way to go about banning theseproducts is to educate ourselves on where this chemical can be found and thenboycotting said products.
On a governmental level, I feel that the chemicalBisphenol-A should be further closely studied and monitored to gain sufficientevidence that shows the adverse effects that it can have on people and not justwith animals. Only then do I feel that substantial progress can be made in theprocess of creating and passing these bills to ban the use of BPA. Numerouspeople are aware of the studies stating that BPA can in fact be harmful toone’s health, and it is these people that will go out of their way to check thedescriptions and label to find if BPA is present.
Unfortunately, though, peoplein general are not observant or conscious enough to check every label of everyitem that they come across. It is because of this that I feel like stating on aproduct label that BPA is present would not be enough to deter people frompurchasing said products. RESOURCES· https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm064437.
htm· Moyer, M. W. (2010).
BISPHENOL A. ScientificAmerican, 303(3), 73.· https://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/foodadditivesingredients/ucm166145.htm