Can

California is leading the way in regulations on the controversial substance BPA (bisphenol-A) with an announcement last week that it will declare it a reproductive hazard.

The state’s Prop. 65 currently requires manufacturers and resellers to post warning signs where the consumer products are sold that contain toxins known to cause cancer, birth defects and reproductive issues. BPA would now fall under the ruling for it’s endocrine disrupting effects, which have caused widespread consumer concern.

BPA is a polymer used in a variety of products from the linings of canned foods and beverages, to baby bottles, and it’s even in thermal cash register receipts.

The California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment said of the decision, “Bisphenol A meets the criteria for listing as known to the State to cause reproductive toxicity (developmental endpoint) under Proposition 65, based on findings of NTP [the National Toxicology Program].”

Classification under Prop. 65 for BPA will be limited by an exposure level of at least 290 micrograms per day, which will eliminate most canned foods or beverages, despite the risks involved.

Countries including France, China and Canada have recently enacted bans or tight restrictions on BPA because of the health risks. The FDA recently announced a ban on BPA in certain products including baby bottles, but did not find enough evidence to ban the product from other common products. However, the controversy has been so significant that companies have begun removing BPA on their own, including popular soup brand, Campbell’s. But, concerns have now emerged over some “BPA-free” claims as a common replacement, bisphenol-S, has also been connected with similar health concerns.

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