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Two reports concerning the safety of human exposure to bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical used in manufacturing many consumer products, were ranked No. 12 in the list of 100 Top Science Stories of 2008 compiled by Discover, the nation’s leading monthly popular-level magazine on science and technology.
The first report, issued by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), concludes that there is some concern for adverse effects of BPA, which mimics the hormone estrogen, to human reproduction and development. The second study, published by a team of British and American researchers in the Journal of the American Medical Association, associates high urinary concentrations of BPA with an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities.
Prof. Susan Woskie of the Department of Work Environment, one of the expert panelists who prepared the NTP paper, says that, as far as she knows, the Food and Drug Administration has no immediate plans to ban or phase out BPA in plastics manufacturing. “In April, Canada banned baby bottles containing BPA, and several states in the U.S., including California and New York, have had legislators propose bans on BPA-containing products,” she says.
In the meantime, stores like Wal-Mart and Toys ‘R’ Us are starting to phase out BPA-containing baby bottles and sippy cups, contributor Jocelyn Rice wrote in Discover.