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Apr. 18 – Canada: Health Canada to Declare Bisphenol A Dangerous

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UPDATE: The annoucement has arrived. It is available here.

We have been receiving a few questions about this issue this morning. As soon as something official is released, we will let you know. CTV expects the annoucement to come today:

Health Canada is expected to announce today that bisphenol A is a dangerous substance — a move that would allow the government to regulate its use.

Health Minister Tony Clement and Environment Minister John Baird, along with Secretary of State for agriculture, Christian Paradis, are scheduled to appear at a press conference in Ottawa Friday afternoon.

Bisphenol A is the main component of polycarbonate, the hard, clear glass-like plastic that is part of hundreds of everyday household products, from water bottles to home electronics to baby bottles.

According to the same article, many retailers in Canada are already pulling products from shelves:

Previous reports claimed the announcement would come as early as last Wednesday. That prompted several Canadian retailers to pull products containing bisphenol A from their shelves.

The Forzani Group, which owns and operates several sporting-good stores, the Hudson’s Bay Company, Home Depot, London Drugs and Rexall Pharmacies decided to pull water bottles and other products that contain the chemical from their shelves this week.

In the last year, retailers such as Mountain Equipment Co-op stopped selling water bottles containing bisphenol A.

This annoucement, if it comes today, will be ahead of the schedule indicated by the New York Times on Wednesday:

The Canadian government is said to be ready to declare as toxic a chemical widely used in plastics for baby bottles, beverage and food containers as well as linings in food cans.

A person with knowledge of the government’s chemical review program spoke on the condition he not be named because of a confidentiality agreement. He said the staff work to list the compound, called bisphenol-a, or B.P.A., as a toxic chemical was complete and was recently endorsed by a panel of outside scientists.

A public announcement by Health Canada may come as early as Wednesday but could be delayed until the end of May. Canada would be the first country to make a health finding against B.P.A., which has been shown to disrupt the hormonal systems of animals. The department’s decision was first reported in The Globe and Mail, a Toronto newspaper, on Tuesday.

The Times today also reported that some manufacturers are already looking to alternatives:

Nalgene, the brand that popularized water bottles made from hard, clear and nearly unbreakable polycarbonate, will stop using the plastic because of growing concern over one of its ingredients.

Nalgene brand water bottles had used bisphenol-a, which some studies in animals linked to hormonal changes.

The decision by Nalgene Outdoor Products, a unit of Thermo Fisher Scientific, based in Rochester, came after reports that the Canadian government would declare the chemical bisphenol-a, or BPA, toxic. Some animal studies have linked the chemical to changes in the hormonal system.

Those reports also prompted many of Canada’s largest retailers, including Wal-Mart Canada, to remove food-related products made with plastics containing the compound chemical, like baby bottles, toddler sipping cups and food containers, from their stores this week.

As soon as something official is released from Health Canada, we will post an update.

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