Canada joins the move against BPA -
OTTAWA — The government of Canada formally declared bisphenol A, a chemical widely used to create clear, hard plastics, as well as food can liners, to be a toxic substance on Wednesday.
The compound, commonly known as BPA, has been shown to disrupt the hormone systems of animals and is under review in the United States and Europe.
Canada’s move, which was strenuously fought by the chemical industry, followed an announcement by the government two years ago that it would eliminate the compound’s use in polycarbonate bottles used by infants and children. In addition to food containers, BPA is used to produce some of the epoxies that line cans used for soft drinks, fruits and vegetables. BPA is widely seen as a test case in an era of mounting worry about household chemicals, pollution and the possible links between illness and environmental exposures, especially in fetuses and young children. Many scientists believe that it is an “endocrine disruptor,” a term applied to chemicals that can act like hormones. Studies using lab animals and cell cultures show that BPA can mimic the female hormone estrogen. Last year, the Endocrine Society, a scientific group, issued a 34-page report that said there was strong evidence of adverse health effects from endocrine disruptors, including harm to the reproductive system, causing malformations, infertility and cancer.