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.