What is Bisphenol A?
BPA is a high production volume (HPV) chemical widely used in manufacturing polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins used in nearly every industry. Humans appear to be exposed primarily through food packaging manufactured using BPA, although those products account for less than 5 percent of the BPA used in this country. Food packaging is under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), not EPA. FDA recently explained the steps it is taking to address BPA. Releases of BPA to the environment exceed 1 million pounds per year.
Why is EPA concerned?
Because BPA is a reproductive, developmental, and systemic toxicant in animal studies and is weakly estrogenic, there are questions about its potential impact particularly on children’s health and the environment. Studies employing standardized toxicity tests used globally for regulatory decision-making indicate that the levels of BPA in humans and the environment are below levels of potential concern for adverse effects. However, results of some recent studies using novel low-dose approaches and examining different endpoints describe subtle effects in laboratory animals at very low concentrations. Some of these low-dose studies are potentially of concern for the environment because the concentration levels identified with effects are similar to some current environmental levels to which sensitive aquatic organisms may be exposed.