Many consumer advocates believe that BPA, or bisphenol A—the plastic-hardening chemical found in drink packaging—can harm the reproductive and nervous systems, particularly in small children, and potentially lead to cancer.
Yet the Food and Drug Administration has rejected the latest call to ban BPA. Government officials said Friday that BPA opponents did not provide compelling scientific evidence to suggest a ban.
BPA is a synthetic estrogen developed more than 70 years ago. It came into wide use in the 1960s and 1970s to make polycarbonate plastic for things like baby bottles. It is also used as an epoxy resin to line metal cans. BPA can also be found in cellphones, dental sealants, eyeglasses, and as a coating for cash register receipts. It has been detected in the urine of more than 93 percent of Americans tested.