What is the status of bisphenol A in the United States? Should procurement professionals be cautious?

October 20th, 2008

Canada declares this chemical toxic

Canada declares this chemical toxic, bans bottles with it.

According to Canada Gazette, Canada declared a chemical widely used in food packaging a toxic substance this past Saturday and will now move to ban plastic baby bottles containing bisphenol A. According to Canadian Environmental Minister John Baird many Canadians have expressed their concerns to me about the risks of bisphenol A in baby bottles.

According to Wikipedia Bisphenol A, commonly abbreviated as BPA, is an organic compound with two phenol functional groups. It is a difunctional building block of several important polymers and polymer additives. With an annual production of 2–3 million tonnes, it is an important monomer in the production of polycarbonate.

Suspected of being hazardous to humans since the 1930s, concerns about the use of bisphenol A in consumer products grabbed headlines in 2008 when several governments issued reports questioning its safety, and some retailers pulled products made from it off their shelves.

So what you might ask is the United States doing about this compound? During the week of April 14, 2008, upon the request of the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, FDA formed an agency-wide BPA (Bisphenol A) task force to facilitate cross-agency review of current research and new information on BPA for all FDA regulated products. As a result of this review, the task force will make recommendations to the Commissioner regarding next steps.

This author believes that the Canadian government has it right on this product, and that the United States government should follow with the same action. It is also my recommendation that procurement professionals include detailed questioning of their suppliers to determine whether or not products they supply contain this compound and do not purchase them or stock them.
Products that can contain bisphenol include but are not be limited to the following.

1. Common metal coatings liners of food cans.
2. Baby bottles the hard plastic ones.
3. Water coolers and bottles
4. Tableware and food storage containers
5. Medical devices
6. Consumer items such as sunglasses CDs and DVDs
7. Automobile parts
8. Sports equipment

We look forward to and welcome your comments

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