BPA removed from Calif. toxic list

A California judge has issued an interim order removing the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from the state's list of reproductive toxicants, as part of an ongoing lawsuit against a California agency.

The chemical industry is seeking to convince a Sacramento County Superior Court judge that the chemical does not cause birth defects, according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group in San Francisco, said the decision was a temporary setback. The group has pushed the state to place restrictions on BPA.

Recently, health advocates celebrated when the state's Environmental Protection Agency listed BPA under Proposition 65. The consumer safety law mandates that the state publish a list of chemicals that cause cancer or birth defects. Products with hazardous amounts of those chemicals are required to carry warning labels.

However, the American Chemistry Council, which represents chemical manufacturers, said it believes there is insufficient evidence to support this claim, noting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has concluded BPA is "safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods."

BPA is used in hard plastics, metal food and beverage containers, sales receipts made of thermal paper, dental sealants, and other household items.

Animal studies have associated BPA with breast and prostate cancers, as well as reproductive and behavioral abnormalities. In addition, some research has tied BPA to cardiovascular disease, miscarriage, decreased semen quality, and childhood behavioral issues. The chemical also may affect metabolism, diabetes, and obesity, although more studies are required to determine its effects.

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