Bisphenol A safety uncertainty

A clutch of papers raising concerns about the health effects and environmental impact of bisphenol A are discussed this week in the American Chemical Society magazine C&EN. The magazine reports that low levels of human exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a compound widely used in the manufacture of polycarbonate and epoxy resins, could have adverse health affects. Four toxicology studies demonstrate health effects as diverse as increased rates of breast and prostate cancer, reproductive abnormalities, obesity, and insulin-dependent diabetes. The magazines also reports that, despite growing evidence of toxic effects in laboratory animals, manufacturers of BPA say the product is safe. In stark contrast with the papers highlighted in the article, C&EN also reports that the European Food Safety Authority stated recently that there are no adverse effects of BPA.