Plastic Pollution in Water Supplies to Be Investigated

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will require new studies on the health and environmental effects of bisphenol A (BPA), a potentially harmful chemical found in thousands of everyday plastics.

The federal agency, which is looking to add the chemical to its list of “chemicals of concern,” will begin measuring levels of the chemical in drinking water and ground water supplies. More than one million pounds of BPA are released into the environment annually, EPA officials say.

While studies have shown that the chemical disrupts development in animals, that link has not been confirmed for humans.But scientists and advocates have urged closer scrutiny of BPA, which is the primary component of hard and clear polycarbonate plastics — including water bottles, baby bottles, and the linings of canned foods.

In January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expressed “some concern” about the effects of BPA on children and infants and will spend $30 million to examine BPA safety over the next two years.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

photo: ntr23

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

2 Comments

  1. There are speculations that reusing plastic bottles is not advisable. It would be great if there were studies done on this one.

  2. Bottled water products produce up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste each year. We are encouraging everyone to eliminate that waste by Bringing Your Own Bottle with you to help keep our environment clean and safe. So far, Primo Water Corporation has helped prevent 302,958,580 plastic bottles from entering landfills! To join the movement and learn more about the harmful effects of plastic bottles on the environment, become a fan of B.Y.O.B. on Facebook.

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