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Delay Sparks Calls for MA Action on BPA

March 3, 2009

Boston, MA – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's announcement that more time is needed to review the science on the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) has local health groups calling on the state to regulate it now.

The FDA has postponed its decision for four months on the controversial plastic softener and synthetic hormone. BPA is often found in baby bottles, many children's products, and in the lining of most food cans.

Erin Boles, associate executive director of the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, questions the federal delay. She says there are approximately 100 scientific studies linking BPA to health problems, including what she calls a "striking increase" in endocrine system disorders and diseases.

"There's overwhelming evidence suggesting that BPA is linked to breast cancer, attention deficit disorder, prostate cancer, and other illnesses that we're learning more and more about each day."

BPA manufacturers insist their tests show the chemical is safe. However, as recently as a few weeks ago, Boles says four new studies have concluded that several types of cancers may be linked to early exposure to BPA.

"It's not just an issue for kids and adults; it's also an issue for babies as they're developing in the womb, too."

Eight states are considering regulating BPA. Boles' group is part of a coalition, the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow, asking the Massachusetts Department of Health to use its authority to ban the chemical in children's products while awaiting the FDA's decision.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - MA