In their latest Watchdog Report, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel revealed a chemical industry cover-up of one of the most pervasive chemicals found in modern life, bisphenol A. Used in baby bottles to food cans, this “everywhere chemical” has been found in 95 percent of more than 300 urine samples and linked to a wide array of health effects, including breast cancer.
The Journal-Sentinel’s investigation found the studies and panels supported by the chemical industry cherry-picked results to assure the public of bisphenol A’s safety. A panel commissioned by the National Toxicology Program released a report last week finding the chemical, a known endocrine disrupter, to be of minor concern. “The Journal-Sentinel found that panel members gave more weight to industry-funded studies and more leeway to industry-funded researchers.” The panel rejected academic studies on the basis of inadequate methods but accepted industry-funded studies that used the same methods to conclude the chemical’s safety. Universities and foreign governments have also been looking into growing concerns of bisphenol A in smaller doses, and the newspaper found that the panel dismissed studies that examined the impact of BPA at those levels.
The Journal-Sentinel also reviewed 258 scientific studies funded by government agencies and universities and found that four out of five reported a range of health concerns, from allergies to reproductive deformities:
“Just 12% of the studies found that bisphenol A had no ill effects. Most of those studies were paid for or partially written by scientists hired by the chemical industry. A study funded by the Society of the Plastics Industry found that bisphenol A did not pose harm to developing rats. Another study discounted any reproductive effects on exposed rats. The authors included scientists affiliated with Shell Chemicals, Dow Chemical Co. and General Electric – all then makers of bisphenol A.”
Our greatest concern is that government regulators have tended to side with the chemical industry in minimizing the human health concerns around bisphenol A and other known toxins in our environment. Join BCF in advocating for environmental health policies that place the public’s health first. Read more about bisphenol A and its link to breast cancer on our web site.