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CU testimony supporting Maine bill against BPA

 

Testimony of Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D.
Director, Technical Policy,
 Consumers Union
for the
125th Maine State Legislature
Committee on Environment and Natural Resources
LD 412: Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 882:
Designation of Bisphenol A as a Priority Chemical and Regulation of Bisphenol A in Children’s Products, a Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Environmental Protection
Position:  FAVORABLE
March 25, 2011

Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports®, magazine(1), writes in support of LD 412 and the final phase out of bisphenol A (BPA) from baby bottles, sippy cups, reusable food and drink containers.

My name is Urvashi Rangan. I am an environmental health scientist and toxicologist for Consumers Union.  I received my doctorate in toxicology from Johns Hopkins University.   As the Consumers Union Director of Technical Policy, I develop environmental health policy positions, consumer advice and messaging, and toxicological risk assessment for chemical and contaminant safety issues related to testing projects, magazine reports and external messaging.  I also advise on hazard testing protocols, for a broad segment of product testing and reporting including hazardous chemicals, emerging hazards, pathogens and environmental claims across a wide range of product categories—including our most recent study of BPA in canned foods.  I have delivered several federal and state testimonies urging the ban of BPA in food contact substances. 

Consumers Union (CU) was founded in 1936 as an expert, independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. To maintain its independence and impartiality, CU accepts no outside advertising or commercial dollars and no free samples.

BPA was originally introduced in the 1930’s as an artificial estrogen. It was also used as a pharmaceutical hormone for a period of time. BPA’s use gained popularity in the plastics industry in the United States and was eventually grandfathered as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the FDA in 1976, along with 62,000 other chemicals. Since then hundred of studies have been published showing a wide range of adverse effects in animals and in some cases humans  at low doses –doses that approximate current levels circulating in the human population. In fact, the safety of BPA, at current exposure levels in the US population, has not been demonstrated. BPA has a fast clearance rate (people should excrete it within a few days) and yet it is found in the urine of more than 90% of the US population.

For the entire testimony, click here (PDF format)