FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 15, 2010
Contact: HHS Press Office
Fact Sheet: Information on HHS BPA Announcement
Bisphenol A, known as BPA, is a chemical that has been used for more than forty years in making many hard plastic food containers such as baby bottles and reusable cups and the lining of metal food and beverage cans, including canned liquid infant formula. Trace amounts of BPA can be found in some foods packaged in these containers.
In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration conducted a review of toxicology research and information on BPA, and, at that time, assessed that food-related materials made with BPA on the market were safe.
But recent studies have reported subtle effects of low doses of BPA in laboratory animals. While BPA is not proven to harm children or adults, these newer studies have led federal health officials to express some concern about the safety of BPA.
Evaluate the Health Consequences of BPA. We need more research to understand better the potential human health effects of exposure to BPA. Therefore, the Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services Administration, working in a collaborative manner, are taking the following steps:
Interagency Task Force on Children’s Environmental Health. The Administration is creating an Interagency Technical Working Group on Children’s Environmental Health that will combine the expertise of different federal agencies to focus on environmental health risks that disproportionately affect children. This Working Group will coordinate efforts across the government to research and address key environmental health questions including BPA.
More Research. The Department of Health and Human Services -- through its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -- is investing in important new health studies in both animals and humans to better determine and evaluate the potential health consequences of BPA.
- NIH Funding to Investigate BPA: the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is providing $30 million in funding to investigate BPA, which includes support for FDA studies and external grants. We expect to have the results of this scientific research in approximately 18 to 24 months.
Supporting Efforts to Reduce Exposure: FDA is supporting current industry efforts to stop the manufacture of infant bottles and feeding cups made with BPA from the U.S. market. FDA is seeking to strengthen its oversight of BPA so the agency can respond quickly, if necessary, when more scientific evidence becomes available.
Recommendations for Families: While we learn more, HHS has put together a list of recommendations for parents and families to take reasonable steps to reduce exposure to this chemical, especially for young children. For this information, visit www.hhs.gov.
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Last revised: May 7, 2011