EPA delays action on suspect chemical

Feb. 14, 2010 at 6:29 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A decision by U.S. regulators to delay action on regulating a dangerous chemical shows undue influence by lobbyists, critics charge.

Eight days after lobbyists for the chemical industry met with administration officials, the Environmental Protection Agency declined to place Bisphenol A on a new list of chemicals requiring stronger labeling and reporting requirements, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Sunday.

Other agencies have moved to restrict the use of BPA, linked to health problems including cancer, but the EPA says it won't develop tougher regulations concerning it for at least two years, the newspaper reported.

Environmental activists said the government should listen to scientists, not lobbyists, in such deliberations.

"There has been a multimillion-dollar PR and lobbying campaign by the chemical industry to allow continued use of this chemical, but we expect the administration to keep its eyes focused on the science," Sarah Janssen, a doctor and scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said.

BPA is used in thousands of household items, including the linings of most food and beverage cans. Scientists say BPA can leach into food and liquids when heated.

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