BPA pollution research being examined by scientists
Amy Soto

Exposed: How willful blindness keeps BPA on shelves and contaminating our bodies

EHN.org investigation finds regulatory push to discredit independent evidence of harm while favoring pro-industry science despite significant shortcomings.

We all are exposed daily to bisphenol-A (BPA) and other bisphenols – estrogen-like substances added to food can liners, paper receipts and plastic containers.


That exposure, according to research that regulators are willfully ignoring, is increasingly linked to harmful health impacts ranging from birth defects to cancer.

A year-long investigation by Environmental Health News finds that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stacked the deck against such findings from independent scientists studying BPA – as well as many compounds used in "BPA-free" products.


Exposed: The BPA Experimentwww.youtube.com


Hundreds of emails obtained via the Freedom of Information Act and dozens of interviews show that science is being perjured:

  • FDA and industry scientists continue to use decades-old study methods that fail to detect effects known to be associated with BPA exposure;
  • Emails between federal employees suggest an effort to ignore evidence of harm;
  • Biased data interpretation methods by the FDA;
  • Sharp disagreement between the FDA regulators and health officials at the National Institutes of Health on the safety of BPA and what messages are relayed to the public.

Significantly, the FDA's maneuvering to keep BPA unregulated extends a similar "get out of jail free" card to thousands of other suspected hormone-altering compounds.

"Their failure to use modern science in examining the risk of BPA and other bisphenols leaves the health of the American public at significant risk," said Pete Myers, founder and chief scientist at Environmental Health Sciences, which publishes Environmental Health News.

Environmental Health News is an award-winning nonpartisan organization dedicated to driving science into public discussion and policy. Read the four-part series below, as well as a comic strip interpretation of the investigation.

And follow the fallout from this investigation on Twitter at the hashtag: #ExposedBPA

Part 1: Scientific stalemate over BPA impacts on our body

Researcher pipets scientific sample

A scientific stalemate leaves our hormones and health at risk

American industry, aided by federal regulators, is conducting a large-scale, consequential experiment with our hormones and the developing brains and reproductive systems of our children.


Part 2: BPA explained, as a mini graphic novella


Clouded in Clarity: A comic on chemicals & controversy

The ongoing health concerns and mixed messaging over the chemical BPA


Part 3: BPA research honesty

On the edge of research honesty

Is a federal study of BPA contaminated by questionable motives, methods?


Part 4: Federal BPA standards decades past their expiration date

Deciphering the real message about BPA

"The government keeps testing chemicals for safety using the same old approaches developed 50 years ago"


Part 5: A BPA-free future

Toward a BPA-free future

What will it take to rid our store shelves of BPA and its equally hazardous cousins?


Follow up BPA coverage

Federal tests 'dramatically' undercount BPA and other chemical exposures

Researchers say federal agencies use highly inaccurate tests to estimate exposure to BPA—findings that extend to multiple other harmful chemicals that get into our bodies


FDA under scrutiny: Policymakers, advocates push for stronger science, regulation of the chemical BPA

"The mindless clinging to outdated science is detrimental to public health and to the development of good science"


BPA and babies

BPA and babies: Controversial chemical and substitutes pollute the womb

Babies are being exposed to "totally unacceptable concentrations"


More bad news for BPA: Novel analysis adds to evidence of chemical's health effects

"This should change how the FDA and other people look at the safety of BPA."

Print Friendly and PDF
From our Newsroom
EPA seeks to add DINP plasticizer to Toxics Release Inventory

EPA seeks to add DINP plasticizer to toxics list

Proposal comes 20 years after regulators first suggested the additive is a health risk

greenwashing climate change denial

Peter Dykstra: Greenwashing’s medieval age

Old school greenwashers and deniers with staying power.

fracking kids health

PFAS: The latest toxic concern for those near fracking

The “forever chemicals” are used by the oil and gas industry, but a lack of transparency and accountability makes it impossible to know how widespread contamination could be.

Colorado fracking

How Colorado is preventing PFAS contamination from the oil and gas industry

And how other states, including Pennsylvania, could do the same.

PFAS Testing

Investigation: PFAS on our shelves and in our bodies

Testing finds concerning chemicals in everything from sports bras to ketchup, including in brands labeled PFAS-free.

PFAS personal care products

Evidence of PFAS in toilet paper (Yes, toilet paper!)

Testing finds fluorine — an indicator of PFAS — in four brands of toilet paper. However, the levels indicate the chemicals are unlikely added on purpose.

Trending Topics