Canadian Government Adds BPA to List of Toxic Substances

October 18, 2010

Canada places BPA on List of Toxic Substances.

Just weeks after the European Food Safety Authority (Parma, Italy) reaffirmed the safety of consuming tolerable amounts of bisphenol-A (BPA), the Canadian government has ordered that the substance be added to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999).

The Canadian Gazette, an official publication of the Canadian Government, published the news last Wednesday.

BPA is an industrial chemical frequently used in consumer plastics ranging from baby bottles and water bottles to metal-based food and beverage cans. Various studies have confirmed that the chemical can be absorbed into animal tissues, even causing adverse health effects in lab animals.

 “The Order adds the substance mentioned above to Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999, thereby allowing the Ministers to publish proposed regulations or instruments no later than October 16, 2010, and finalize them no later than April 16, 2012. Developing an implementation plan or a compliance strategy, or establishing service standards, is not considered necessary without any specific risk management proposals. An appropriate assessment of implementation, compliance and enforcement will be undertaken during the development of a proposed regulation or control instrument(s) respecting preventive or control actions for this substance.

“A scientific assessment of the impact of human and environmental exposure to bisphenol A has determined that this substance constitutes or may constitute a danger to human health and the environment as per the criteria set out under section 64 of [CEPA, 1999],” reads the written Order.

In response to comments from the chemical industry stating that available science is not great enough, Health Canada (Ottawa) affirmed that its scientific assessment “…indicates that there is reasonable and increasing evidence from animal studies to suggest cause for concern and justification for the application of precaution.”

Placing BPA on the List of Toxic Substances allows for the Minister of the Environment to initiate regulations and/or instruments for prevention and control of BPA pollution. The Minister has initiated a 60-day commenting period after which any prevention procedures may be initiated.