Canadians call for action on hazardous BPA

Feb. 22, 2011 at 5:13 PM

OTTAWA, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Canada's declaration that bisphenol A is a health hazard must be followed up with legislation to protect people from exposure, researchers say.

Bisphenol A, one the most commonly manufactured chemicals in the world and widely used in a range of common materials and food packaging, has estrogenic properties and may have negative effects on human health, an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal said Tuesday.

Canada became the first country in the world to declare BPA a health hazard when Health Canada invoked a "precautionary principle" October 2010.

However, researchers say, positive action beyond just declaring the chemical a hazard is needed.

"Health Canada continues to maintain that bisphenol A is safe at current exposure levels and does not pose any risk to the general population; regulations to remove bisphenol A from all food-contact sources, or ban it completely, are not yet forthcoming, presenting a conflict that is likely to confuse the public," the CMAJ article said.

"By invoking the precautionary principle, Health Canada has both the power and responsibility to restrict human exposure to bisphenol A; in taking the action to label bisphenol A a toxic chemical, Health Canada now must follow through with strong legislation that will protect the people of Canada from continued exposure," the article said.

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