Regulatory Update – EPA Begins Process of Regulating BPA
On July 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking comments on requiring toxicity testing to determine the potential for bisphenol A (BPA) to cause adverse effects, including endocrine-related effects, in environmental organisms at low concentrations. EPA is also seeking comment on requiring environmental testing consisting of sampling and monitoring for BPA in surface water, ground water, drinking water, soil, sediment, sludge, and landfill leachate in the vicinity of expected BPA releases to determine whether environmental organisms may currently be exposed to concentrations of BPA in the environment that are at or above levels of concern for adverse effects, including endocrine-related effects. This ANPRM is directed only toward the environmental presence and environmental effects of BPA. EPA is working with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on potential human health issues, but is not considering any additional testing specifically in regard to human health issues at this time. EPA issued an action plan on BPA in March 2010 outlining possible steps the agency might take to address risks presented by BPA, including testing. The BPA action plan is available at www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/actionplans/bpa.html. The request for public comment on BPA testing is the latest initiative in EPA’s effort to strengthen its overall chemicals management program. For a copy of the ANPRM, go to www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-07-26/pdf/2011-18842.pdf. Comments are due by September 26, 2011.