Susanne Rust
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
September 3, 2008

A chemical commonly found in baby bottles and the linings of aluminum cans “is of some concern,” according to a report released Wednesday by a federal advisory program.

The report found some concern that the chemical could affect development of the prostate gland and brain, and for behavioral effects on fetuses, infants and children.

The National Toxicology Program’s final report on human exposure to the plastic ingredient bisphenol A contradicted a report released in August by the Food and Drug Administration, which concluded the chemical is of no concern.

The National Toxicology Program is the scientific advisory program for the FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency. Its mission is to provide chemical safety assessments that will guide the agencies’ scientific policies and regulatory efforts.

FDA spokesman Michael Herndon said his agency “is going to take into consideration the results of the NTP report.” The FDA is holding a public hearing on its own report later this month in Washington, D.C.

He also said Wednesday that the FDA does not believe the chemical is present in products at levels that would be harmful to people.

“However, the FDA is aware that consumers may be concerned by bisphenol A and advises consumers to use glass baby bottles and/or other products that don’t contain” the chemical, he said.

The FDA has been criticized for releasing its Aug. 15 report concluding the chemical showed no harm just days before the California Assembly was set to vote on a ban of the chemical in products for children under age 3. That legislation failed on a vote of 31-27.

The FDA’s study also was released before the final toxicology program report, which is theoretically supposed to advise the agency on the safety of chemicals such as bisphenol A.

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