(Joel Page / Associated Press )
The feds are spending $30 million to discover the potential health risks of the controversial chemical bisphenol A, or BPA. They could just have asked Maine Gov. Paul LePage.
The state's top official told the Bangor Daily News in an interview last week: "The only thing that I’ve heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards."
There's more to it than that. The Food and Drug Administration says the chemical present in metal cans and hard plastic bottles bears closer examination for these reasons:
"Studies employing standardized toxicity tests have thus far supported the safety of current low levels of human exposure to BPA. However, on the basis of results from recent studies using novel approaches to test for subtle effects, both the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health and FDA have some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children."
Until more studies are done, the agency also has taken these steps to reduce BPA exposure for children:
"--supporting the industry’s actions to stop producing BPA-containing baby bottles and infant feeding cups for the U.S. market;
--facilitating the development of alternatives to BPA for the linings of infant formula cans; and
--supporting efforts to replace BPA or minimize BPA levels in other food can linings."
LePage's comments have drawn strong reactions.
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