Harmful chemical should be regulated under
Brussels, 10 July 2008
- Regulators remain oblivious to the harmful effects of a chemical called
Bisphenol A (BPA) widespread in plastic consumer products and need to act
urgently to protect consumers, says Friends of the Earth Europe in a report out
'Blissfully unaware of Bisphenol A: Reasons
why regulators should live up to their responsibilities' reveals that despite
firm scientific consensus about the health hazards of the chemical, European
authorities are shirking their responsibilities and attempting to postpone any
decision on whether this substance should require authorisation until 2013.
The report shows that BPA, which is found in
consumer goods such as baby bottles, plastic microwave food containers and
canned food linings, has proven links with a wide range of health disorders
from infertility and breast and prostate cancer, to thyroid malfunction,
attention deficit syndrome and recurrent miscarriage.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is
currently reassessing BPA, and is due to give its opinion later this month.
Friends of the Earth Europe is concerned that it will continue to ignore
overwhelming scientific evidence. In January 2007, despite existing scientific
consensus, EFSA allowed for a five fold increase in the accepted daily amount
of BPA to which European consumers may be exposed.
The levels of BPA found in human serum, urine,
placental tissues and umbilical cord blood are consistent with the levels that
have been proven harmful in all studies conducted on animals.
The report comes at a time when the new
European framework for the regulation of chemicals, REACH, is entering the
implementation phase and could provide an effective means and incentive for
phasing out BPA. The newly created European Chemical Agency has just published
its first draft list of 'Substances of Very High Concern' and Friends of the
Earth Europe is asking for BPA to be included.
Azoulay, coordinator of the safer chemicals campaign for Friends of the Earth
Europe said: "We have now entered the implementation phase of REACH which was
supposed to represent a radical new approach to chemicals. It is ironic to see
the EU being praised around the world for its supposed new way of dealing with
chemicals and at the same time refusing to take the necessary steps to regulate
Bisphenol A which should be an obvious target for regulators."
For more information
David Azoulay, coordinator of the safer
chemicals campaign for Friends of the Earth Europe, +32 2 542 61 08, +33 686 52
46 25, firstname.lastname@example.org
Francesca Gater, communications officer at
Friends of the Earth Europe, +212542 61 05, +32 485 93 05 15,
 The full report 'Blissfully unaware of
Bisphenol A: Reasons why regulators should live up to their responsibilities'
is available here.