EU court confirms BPA as substance of ‘very high concern’

The General Court of the European Union confirmed this week that bisphenol A (BPA) – a chemical additive in plastics and thermal paper receipts – must be listed as a substance of 'very high concern' given its toxicity for human reproduction.


The Court upheld a decision by the European Chemicals Agency, or ECHA, to identify the substance, which has been used in the manufacture of plastic products such as water bottles, food containers and receipts. BPA is already banned in the EU for some products – such as baby bottles – due to concerns about its effects on the hormonal and reproductive systems.

ECHA is the driving force among European regulatory authorities for implementing chemicals legislation for the benefit of human health and the environment. One of ECHA's tasks is to identify and list substances of very high concern—substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic to reproduction, persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic, very persistent and bioaccumulative, or that give rise to a similar level of concern.

Once listed, compounds could become subject to further regulation and restrictions.

"This case was not about whether bisphenol A is toxic for reproduction or not – there is no doubt about the dangers this substance poses for humans and the environment," said Apolline Roger, legal and policy advisor at ClientEarth, which intervened before the Court to support ECHA's decision.

"This case was about industry lobby group PlasticsEurope attempting to fight the obligation of its members that sell or use BPA to tell their supply chain and consumers about its dangers."

Print Friendly and PDF
SUBSCRIBE TO EHN'S MUST-READ DAILY NEWSLETTER: ABOVE THE FOLD
Originals

Nutrient runoff starves corals in the Florida Keys

Rising ocean temperatures, a consequence of climate change, are known for bleaching and killing corals. But a study, published today in Marine Biology, reveals another overlooked culprit: excess nitrogen.

Keep reading... Show less
Corals in American Samoa region that survived a 2015 bleaching event. (Credit: Stephen Palumbi)
Originals

“A friend is gone:” Handpicking hardy corals to save them from warming waters

When Steve Palumbi and a group of scientists arrived in American Samoa in 2017, they saw a grim scene. Acropora hyacinthus, a charismatic coral shaped like large plates, was dying out.

Keep reading... Show less
Wil C. Fry/flickr
Toxics

Widely used PVC plastic chemical spurs obesity, prediabetes: Study

Mice exposed in the womb to a chemical used in PVC plastic, door and window frames, blinds, water pipes, and medical devices were more likely to suffer from prediabetes and obesity, according to a study released this week.

Keep reading... Show less
From our Newsroom

Above The Fold

Daily & Weekly newsletters all free.