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Cloud over BPA grows as

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The country's top endocrine scientists have declared the toxic plastics chemical bisphenol A (BPA) and other environmental pollutants shown to disrupt the endocrine system to be a "significant concern to public health."

At its annual meeting yesterday, The Endocrine Society, a professional scientific organization devoted to hormone research, warned that bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic estrogen, and ubiquitous plastics component, and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC) "have effects on male and female reproduction, breast development and cancer, prostate cancer, neuroendocrinology, thyroid, metabolism and obesity, and cardiovascular endocrinology."

The entire scientific statement by The Endocrine Society is available here: http://www.endo-society.org/journals/ScientificStatements/upload/EDC_Sci...

In the first scientific statement ever issued by the 93-year-old body, The Endocrine Society took the unusual step of declaring its intent to engage in "lobbying for regulation seeking to decrease human exposure to the many endocrine-disrupting agents." As well, it called for stepped-up research on links between endocrine-disrupting chemicals and a number of serious health problems, including breast and prostate cancer, neurological and reproductive system disorders, diabetes and obesity.

"The evidence for adverse reproductive outcomes (infertility, cancers, malformations) from exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals is strong," the statement said, "and there is mounting evidence for effects on other endocrine systems, including thyroid, neuroendocrine, obesity and metabolism, and insulin and glucose homeostasis."

The society warned that 'effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals may be transmitted to further generations."

The Endocrine Society's decision to assume a more active role in shaping public policy on toxic chemicals reform comes on the heels of action by state and local governments. Recently Minnesota and Connecticut passed laws to restrict BPA in products for young children. Suffolk County, NY and the city of Chicago took similar action. Last week, the California State Senate passed a measure to ban BPA from all bottles and food packaging for children 3 and younger.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found detectable levels of BPA in the urine of 93 percent of Americans over the age of six. Last week Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told congressional leaders she will reassess her agency's position that BPA exposures at low doses are safe for children. The FDA stance has drawn, widespread criticism from a broad range of experts, including the agency's outside science advisory panel.

"The evidence of BPA's risks is clear-cut," said Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Vice President for Research, Jane Houlihan. "The debate is over, the science is persuasive and verdict is in: BPA should not be in products that people, particularly young children use everyday."

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