Amid state and local governments banning the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from certain products, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to review new studies on the chemical. The agency plans to make a decision on BPA's safety by November 30, ruling on whether or not it should be used in food and beverage containers.
BPA is an estrogen replacement used to make hard, clear plastic and is a component in the linings of most food and drink containers. Past studies have found that it is linked to cell damage in lab animals, leading to breast and prostate cancers and behavioral abnormalities. New human studies have linked BPA to heart disease and diabetes. In one study, the chemical was found to interfere with the effectiveness of chemotherapy for breast cancer patients.
Last August, the FDA ruled that BPA was safe for all use, but the agency's own advisory board rejected the ruling, pointing out that it was based on two studies that were funded by the plastics industry. Minnesota, Connecticut, Chicago, and Long Island have banned BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups. Canada banned the use of BPA in baby bottles last year.