Debunking Another Eco Scare

August 20, 2011
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Even by the usual standards of the environmental movement, the panic over bisphenol-A (BPA) was remarkable for its detachment from reality. A new study funded by …. the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has now debunked this scare about as comprehensively as is possible.

Even by the usual standards of the environmental movement, the panic over bisphenol-A (BPA) was remarkable for its detachment from reality. A new study funded by …. the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has now debunked this scare about as comprehensively as is possible.

BPA has been in use for five decades all over the world and has been tested extensively and found to be safe. In 2008, however, green campaigners, abetted by trial lawyers in the U.S., began touting the potential for BPA to “disrupt” hormones in the human body. BPA was implicated in everything from cancer to obesity to impotence. One particularly overheated campaigner compared letting babies drink from BPA-containing baby bottles to feeding infants birth-control pills. Canada banned its use in baby bottles, and several U.S. states did the same. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein tried to get it banned in the U.S. as well.

 

The results of the study, which was duplicated in two separate government labs, may not change the fate of BPA in the court of public opinion. Nor will it help the likes of Sigg Switzerland USA, the U.S. distributor of those now-ubiquitous metal drinking bottles. Sigg was initially a beneficiary of the scare as people moved to ditch their plastic drinking bottles. But once it transpired that the lining of Sigg’s aluminum bottles manufactured before August 2008 also contained trace amounts of BPA, its U.S. distributor was hit with lawsuits and a campaign of public vilification that recently sent it into bankruptcy.

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Lost amid the hysteria were the benefits of BPA, including the fact that it helped to eliminate botulism in canned food. Where does a chemical go to get its reputation back?

Full Wall Street Journal article on the new chemical scare.