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The Battle Over BPA

Written by Amie Newman for - News, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice.

April 22nd isEarth Day.

It feels like an uphill battle at times. Protecting against those invisible toxins in the air, in our water, in the food we eat, in the containers that store the food and beverages we consume. We develop breast cancer, or polycystic ovarian syndrome or prostate cancer. And we wonder what the cause of these conditions might be. Heredity? Bad luck? How can we possibly place the blame on something we may come into contact with daily, products we assume are safe? We rely, of course, on government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help us identify what may or may not be safe. Unfortunately, the way the current system is set up may not be good for our health, according to a feature article by Jennifer Rogers published earlier this month on RH Reality Checkand confirmed up by a new report, BPA Free and Beyond: Protecting Reproductive Health from Environmental Toxins by the Guttmacher Institute:

Some 2,000 new chemicals are introduced into the U.S. marketplace every year, according to the federal interagency National Toxicology Program (NTP). Yet, the NTP and others widely acknowledge that in many cases, neither corporations nor the government have adequately researched the ways in which exposure to these chemicals can affect people's health and how much exposure is sufficient to constitute an unsafe risk.

This is what’s happened with BPA or bisphenol A. BPA is a chemical used in food and beverage containers (including baby bottles, water bottles and canned fruit) which has now been called out by the FDA because of its potentially dangerous effect on human health including on the health of some particularly vulnerable populations like babies, young children, and pregnant and breastfeeding women.

And the reproductive health effects can be immense, found in both men and women. ... Read more