Canada First Jurisdiction in the World to Classify BPA as a “Toxic Substance”

19 October 2010

The Canadian government issued a final order on October 13th, 2010 classifying bisphenol A (BPA) as a toxic substance to be added to Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

The result of a four-year study, the listing allows the government to develop regulations to manage risks associated with the chemical. In 2008, Canada issued a proposal declaring BPA toxic; the federal government proposed that it be limited in infant formula cans and banned in baby bottles, based upon concerns regarding exposure to high temperatures in dishwashers and microwaves.

Regulations to manage both the human health and environmental risks posed by BPA will be finalized by April 16th, 2012, according to Chemical Watch.

BPA is a plastic ingredient that is used to make the tough, shatter-resistant polycarbonate plastic and versatile epoxy resins that are used in a wide array of products for more than 50 years. Many uses pose no risk to consumers, but some scientists have worried about the health effects of ingesting low doses of the chemical, which is also used in the linings of canned foods as well as in bottles and food storage products.

The Toy Industry Association states that BPA is not a concern for toys given the limited scope of its use – and limited risk of exposure – in toy and game products.

Despite Canada's recent listing of bisphenol A as a toxic substance, the Brisbane Times reports that Australia will not change its intake limits for BPA.

According to lead scientists at Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Australia will continue to follow the EU daily standard of 600 parts per billion of body weight for BPA.

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