DART-IC (Development and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee) made the decision to list BPA as a female reproductive toxicant at a meeting last night (Thursday).
John Rost, NAMPA chairman, said DART-IC is only empaneled to look at hazard and did not and cannot take into account actual exposure levels.
“In fact, one member was reminded during discussions that the committee should not consider what human exposures actual are in their deliberation and vote,” he said.
“The hazard assessment decision the panel made was disappointing but not a surprise considering the restrictions placed on the members to completely ignore exposure.
“Everything is toxic at some level and the panel’s vote today proved that too narrow of a focus will lead to erroneous conclusions that misrepresent scientific evidence.”
DART-IC is a scientific panel of the California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s (OEHHA).
The purpose of Proposition 65 is to notify consumers they are being exposed to chemicals that are known to cause cancer and/or reproductive toxicity.
Decision contrary to FDA input
Steven G. Hentges, of the Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), said it strongly disagrees with the decision.
“The decision is not supported by the extensive scientific record presented to the committee and is completely contrary to explicit input provided by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” he said.
“In April, FDA’s acting chief scientist submitted a letter to the DART-IC stating that the results of FDA’s own comprehensive research 'do not support BPA as a reproductive toxicant’.
“The letter further noted that ‘FDA released an extensive, rigorous, and systematic four-year assessment of more than 300 scientific studies of BPA.’
“The findings of that assessment, released in late 2014, ‘reaffirm FDA’s determination that BPA is safe provided it is used in accordance with our regulations.’
“Regardless of the DART-IC decision, that conclusion on safety continues to be valid since Proposition 65 is in no way an evaluation of safety.”
DART-IC voted in 2009 against including BPA on the state’s Proposition 65 list of reproductive toxicants.
BPA was added to the list as reproductive toxicant for development endpoints in 2013 but was delisted following a lawsuit by the ACC and subsequently withdrawn.
Proposition 65, is also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.
BPA risk to newborns
Meanwhile, a study has found while a large majority of newborns are exposed to BPA they can chemically alter and rid their bodies of it.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found more than 92% of people aged six and older have BPA in their bodies, most likely through eating food stored in packaging containing the chemical.
For the study, between December 2012 and August 2013, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health collected urine samples from 44 full-term babies, once between three and six days of age and again between seven and 27 days of age.
They were looking for free BPA and BPA glucuronide. Free BPA is the chemical as it appears in consumer products, and BPA glucuronide is what remains after free BPA is metabolized by the body.
Researchers found no free BPA in the urine samples, while more than 70% of the samples contained BPA glucuronide. BPA glucuronide is biologically inert and considered harmless to the body.
Rebecca Massa Nachman, a post-doctoral fellow in the department of Environmental Health Sciences, said even though BPA was removed from bottles, the work shows infants are still exposed.
“But the good news is that our study also shows healthy newborns are better able to handle that exposure than we thought."
Nachman said they still don't know how the babies were exposed to BPA.