Anti-chemical and environmental groups must be in a reactive mood today. One of their meal tickets, BPA a component of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins which has been used for decades, most commonly as a sealant/liner for canned foods, has quietly been removed from the EPA list of chemicals of concern.
Other supposedly harmful chemicals, such as phthalates (plastic softeners) and PDBEs (flame retardants) have also been removed from the list, and now fall under the category designated...for further analysis.
What happened? Hard to say, since very little has been mentioned about this, but two proposed rules, one of which would have added these chemicals to the chemicals of concern list had been sitting in the White House awaiting review for about 2 years instead of the 90 day review process mandated by law.
This information comes from an article by Candace Pearson, in Environmental Building News, where she says, So-called chemicals of concern are those with an EPA action plan for risk management; those undergoing further analysis are listed as TSCA Work Plan chemicals. EPA has also eliminated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), carcinogenic and bioaccumulative compounds formerly used as flame retardants, from its chemicals of concern list, along with bisphenol-A (BPA), a component of epoxy resins that poses health risks as an endocrine disruptor and possible obesogen.
ACSH s Dr. Bloom says, It s a bit strange that while the EPA has refused to categorize these substances as chemicals of concern, critics even in this article continue to refer to BPA as an obesogen and endocrine disruptor, and PBDEs as carcinogens. Also, keep in mind that the FDA considers BPA to be safe as used. There seems to be a mixed message here.
Since we have been talking about this topic for many years, we thought it might be interesting to highlight some of our Dispatch items where we have skewered some of the junk science surrounding this topic.
*Dr. Oz suggests that rather than microwaving food in plastic containers that you should use stainless steel (!) instead.
*Dr. Bloom takes on Nicholas Kristof for not touching cash register receipts (they contains small amounts of BPA).
* We discuss the junk science that has led to the phony phthalates scares.