“US bearded women vs banning BPA”

Maine Gov. Paul LePage recently said that in a worst case scenario BPA exposure may give women “little beards.”
Seems US puts head in the chemical sand as EU moves to protect its people from 6 more known toxins including BPA.

The European Union recently announced that it will ban six toxic substances under its Registration, Evaluation, Authorization & Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program, reports Chemical & Engineering News. These The phase out affects three plastic softening chemicals: bis (2-ethylexyl) phthalate; benzyl butyl phthalate; and dibutyl phthalate.

The regulation also bans the flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane because the compound is persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic. Another affected substance is 5-tert-butyl-2,4,6-trinito-m-xylene, also known as musk xylene, which the EU characterizes as very persistent and very bioaccumulative.

The sixth chemical banned is 4,4′-diaminodiphenylmethane, used in some epoxy resins and adhesives and as an intermediate in the manufacture of other substances. The EU classifies this compound as a substance which should be regarded as carcinogenic to humans.

All are known to be toxic to the human reproductive systems. The EU already prohibits use of these three phthalates in children’s toys.

The landmark move, which includes phasing out three plastic softening chemicals and a flame retardant, stands out in glowing contrast to the U.S.’s chemical love affair and denial system. The US refuses to consider a ban on Bisphenol A (BPA) in spite of the research on the controversial chemical. This chemical additives is found in American’s tissues at levels twice as high as levels found in Canadian’s.

But not to worry, says Maine’s Gov. Paul LePage. The worst that could happen is that BPA exposure might cause women to start growing “little beards.”

The European Union will phase out the use of three phthalates, a flame retardant, a synthetic musk, and a compound used in epoxy resins and adhesives. The move, announced Feb. 17, 2010  by the European Commission, marks the first time the EU has banned substances under its Registration, Evaluation, Authorization & Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program.

Sale or use of the six chemicals will cease in three to five years unless a company obtains authorization from the commission.

To use or sell any of these substances, a business would have to demonstrate that safety measures are in place to control risks adequately or that the benefits to the economy and society outweigh the risks of using the compound.

The phase out affects three plastic softening chemicals: bis (2-ethylexyl) phthalate; benzyl butyl phthalate; and dibutyl phthalate. They are targeted because of reproductive toxicity. The EU already prohibits use of these three phthalates in children’s toys.

The regulation also bans the flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane because the compound is persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic. Another affected substance is 5-tert-butyl-2,4,6-trinito-m-xylene, also known as musk xylene, which the EU characterizes as very persistent and very bioaccumulative.

The sixth chemical banned is 4,4′-diaminodiphenylmethane, used in some epoxy resins and adhesives and as an intermediate in the manufacture of other substances. The EU classifies this compound as a substance which should be regarded as carcinogenic to humans.

“Today’s decision is an example of the successful implementation of REACH and of how sustainability can be combined with competitiveness,” says Antonio Tajani, European Commission vice president for industry and entrepreneurship. “It will encourage industry to develop alternatives and foster innovation.”

“The substances included in the list, which have been on the table for many years, reflects ongoing discussions by regulatory authorities and industry,” the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) says. “CEFIC provides advice to industry to help understand the science-based process, which we monitor, should they decide to go forward to seek authorization for listed substances,”

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