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California to Consider Listing BPA as a Prop 65 Reproductive Toxicant...Again

The California Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced that Bisphenol A (BPA) will be considered for listing as a reproductive toxicant under Proposition 65 at the next meeting of the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DARTIC), to be held May 7, 2015. Proposition 65, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, requires the governor of California to publish, at least annually, a list of chemicals "known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity."

DARTIC, the state's panel of qualified experts for identifying reproductive toxicants, considered including BPA on the State's Proposition 65 list of reproductive toxicants in 2009 but voted unanimously against its inclusion, noting that the experimental animal data cited for listing were insufficient. Despite that recommendation, OEHHA proposed listing BPA as a reproductive toxicant in January 2013 using an alternative listing mechanism and in April of the same year—two weeks after the public comment period ended—announced its decision to list BPA.

After OEHHA proposed listing BPA in 2013, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) brought an action in California state court in March 2013 seeking to prevent the listing from proceeding. On April 19, 2013, the Sacramento County Superior Court issued a preliminary injunction ordering BPA be removed from Proposition 65 list pending a final resolution of the ACC lawsuit (American Chemistry Council v Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment et al.). As a result, OEHHA removed BPA from the list of chemicals known to the State to cause reproductive toxicity just eight days after having listed the chemical. (For more information OEHHA's actions with respect to BPA in 2013, see the article, BPA and Proposition 65: Follow the Bouncing Ball.)

OEHHA says that it is requesting that DARTIC reconsider listing BPA based on new epidemiological and toxicological data that have become available since 2009. More specifically, OEHHA is asking DARTIC to review new material on BPA and female reproductive toxicity. This material can be accessed from OEHHA's website. OEHHA is accepting public comment on its recommendation that DARTIC reconsider BPA as a reproductive toxicant until April 6, 2015.