Sat, Dec 06, 2008 - Page 4 News List

EPA to list bisphenol A as potentially toxic substance

HARMFUL TO ANIMALSThe chemical is commonly found in polycarbonate baby bottles and has been banned in Canada after laboratory experiments raised concern


The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) is planning to list bisphenol A (BPA) as a potentially toxic substance in light of increased public concern that it poses a health risk to humans, especially infants, an EPA official said yesterday.

After it has been listed, manufacturers that use the chemical in their products will be required to file a declaration with the EPA, Department of Environmental Sanitation and Toxic Substance Management Deputy Chief Wu Wen-chuan (吳文娟) said.

BPA has been on an EPA watch list since last year.

The chemical is commonly found in hard plastic products, including polycarbonate (PC) baby bottles. It is thought to be an endocrine disruptor and has been proven harmful to animals in laboratory experiments, raising concern that it could have negative health effects on humans.

With concern over BPA increasing worldwide in recent years, Canada announced in April its intention to ban the import and sale of PC bottles containing BPA, making it the first country in the world to ban the use of the chemical in bottles, Wu said.

While Japan has also placed BPA on its list of possible endocrine disruptors, the US requires manufacturers, importers and processors of products containing BPA to submit related information to the authorities, she said.

The EU, meanwhile, has set a limit of 30 parts per billion for BPA emissions, she added.

Wu said as the metabolic systems of infants and young children are not as developed as those of adults, BPA consumption was more likely to affect their reproductive systems.

There have not been any reports of incidents involving BPA in Taiwan.

As BPA has not been banned, Wu urged the public to avoid putting hot liquids into PC containers and to discard those that have cracked to reduce the risk of the chemical being released into food or beverages.

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