EPA to consider new tests on bisphenol A

The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is seeking public comment on possible toxicity testing and environmental sampling for bisphenol A.

Also called BPA, the chemical is used as a plastics hardener -- many products that are clear and also plastic often have BPA. They include eyeglasses, toys, cases and more. The chemical is also used as a protective food can lining.  It's used in epoxy paints and coatings. It coats some cash register receipts.

But BPA also has been shown to cause reproductive and developmental effects in animal studies.

The EPA says that more than 1 million pounds of the chemical are released into the environment every year.

The agency has been taking a closer look at the chemical, and in March announced an action plan that included possible steps to be taken.

“A number of concerns have been raised about the potential human health and environmental effects of BPA,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, in a press release. “The data collected under the testing EPA is considering would help EPA better understand and address the potential environmental impacts of BPA.”

Also according to the press release, In January 2010 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it would further examine potential human health effects and reduce exposure to BPA in the food supply, which represents the greatest source of exposure to people. EPA is working with FDA, Centers for Disease Control, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences on research under way to better determine and evaluate the potential health consequences of BPA exposures. At the conclusion of that research, EPA will determine if additional actions may be needed to address human health concerns from non-food use exposures.