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A victory for public health and consumer right-to-know


MAY 08, 2015

CONTACT: Erika Wilhelm, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners

SAN FRANCISCO – Bisphenol A (BPA), the notorious chemical banished from baby bottles due to concerns about its impact on the health of young children, may now be required to be disclosed on products sold in California. Yesterday the Proposition 65 Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DART IC) agreed to add bisphenol A (BPA) to the state’s official list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

The committee agreed that BPA meets the criteria for listing as “a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm” under the state’s landmark toxics law, Proposition 65. Once BPA is listed, manufacturers and retailers may have to disclose the presence of BPA in products they sell in California. In many cases, manufacturers have chosen to remove Prop. 65 chemicals from their products rather than label them.

BPA is a synthetic estrogen used in food can linings and other food packaging, dental sealants, thermal receipt paper and many other everyday items. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) cites the majority of BPA exposure comes from food. BPA leaches from food packaging into food and beverages and moves quickly into people. More than 300 scientific studies show that low-dose exposure to BPA, particularly during gestation and early infancy, is associated with a wide range of adverse health effects including breast cancer, infertility, early puberty in girls, diabetes and obesity. A 2013 Breast Cancer Fund comprehensive review of the science linking pre-natal BPA exposure to later life health problems was deeply troubling. Minuscule amounts of BPA have been shown to cross the placenta at parts per billion or even parts per trillion and disrupt normal prenatal development, which can set the stage for later life diseases, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer.

“Most people in the United States are exposed to bisphenol A every day, despite known health risks to children and adults, such as cancer and infertility,” said Sharima Rasanayagam, Ph.D., Director of Science at the Breast Cancer Fund. “The Breast Cancer Fund applauds the DART IC committee’s decision, which speaks to the clear, overwhelming scientific evidence that BPA is a reproductive toxicant. After nearly 15 years of collaborative work in environmental health science and advocacy on BPA we welcome this important step in providing consumers the right to know what is in the products they buy.

According to Proposition 65, a chemical must be listed if it is formally identified as a carcinogen or reproductive toxicant by an authoritative scientific body.

“A Prop. 65 listing represents one more nail in the coffin for this highly toxic, hormonally active chemical,” said Janet Nudelman, Director of Program and Policy at the Breast Cancer Fund. “Listing BPA under Prop. 65 strengthens our call to manufacturers and to Congress to get BPA out of canned food linings and other food packaging.”


Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) is the leading national science-based policy and advocacy organization working to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation.

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