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CA Court Decision Will Place BPA Back on Harmful Chemicals List

A California court recently upheld findings that the plastic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is known to cause reproductive health problems.

In 2013, the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced that it intended to add BPA to California’s Proposition 65 list of harmful chemicals and require companies to warn consumers when their products can expose them to BPA, but the American Chemistry Council (ACC) petitioned the court to prevent this.

BPA is a chemical used to make a variety of plastics, including food storage containers and bottles, eyeglass lenses, medical products and sports safety equipment. The primary source of exposure to BPA for most people is through diet, and the highest estimated daily intake of BPA occurs in infants and children.

The National Toxicology Program Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (NTP) has stated that there is “some concern” about the effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate glad in fetuses, infants and children at current exposures and “minimal concern” about effects on the mammary gland.

OEHHA decided to list BPA based on NTP’s conclusions that there is clear evidence of adverse developmental effects in laboratory animals at high levels of exposure to BPA.

In addition to preventing the listing, ACC also sought a judicial declaration that the proposed listing “is an abuse of discretion.”

The ruling, signed Dec. 18 by Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy M. Frawley, stated that OEHHA “did not abuse its discretion in finding that NTP formally identified BPA as ‘causing reproductive toxicity’ within the meaning of the California definition” and will reinstate the decision to list BPA under the state’s Prop 65 consumer protection law.

The court also denied ACC’s request for a stay pending appeal.

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