Item Link: Access the Resource
Media Type: News / Op - Ed
Date of Publication: January 2020
Year of Publication: 2020
Author(s): Pete Myers
Newspaper: Environmental Health News
Advances in science, legal action and public understanding are existential threats to today’s chemical industry. Investors should pay attention.
I’m going to let you in on a scientific reality that is going to transform the chemical enterprise and upend today’s unscientific approach to figuring out what’s safe and what is not. The safe dose of one of the biggest volume chemicals in the world— bisphenol A (BPA)—will have to be reduced by at least 20,000-fold.
This calculation is based upon data the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) obtained in an ambitious, roughly $30 million collaborative program called CLARITY-BPA. CLARITY was designed to reconcile differences between traditional regulatory science as practiced by the FDA and results obtained by independent academic scientists funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Many significant effects were observed at the lowest dose tested, including data obtained by the FDA.
That means: Take today’s FDA reference dose and divide by at least 20,000.
That’s the highest exposure that would be considered safe if regulated according to existing scientific understanding. The chemical would disappear from any uses that bring it into contact with food or drinking water, human skin, or result in it evaporating into the air or melting into water.
And the same would hold for many other chemicals that disrupt hormone signaling, that is, endocrine disrupting chemicals, which have been linked to multiple health impacts including prostate cancer, breast cancer, infertility, diabetes, ADHD and autism.
Maybe not all EDCs would require a 20,000-fold reduction. Perhaps only a 1000-fold. But there are at least several hundred endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in use today that could follow this pattern. All would see greatly heightened restrictions on their uses.
And that represents an existential threat to the chemical industry.
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