Wednesday, 23 February 2011

More than BPA in the water in Maine

In a striking example of how a state's proximity to Canada is not directly correlated with levels of political craziness, the Governor of Maine, one Paul LePage, has recently commented that bishpenol A "isn't a problem".

“Quite frankly, the science that I’m looking at says there is no [problem],” LePage said. “There hasn’t been any science that identifies that there is a problem.”

Really, LePage? There hasn't been any science that identifies a danger due to BPA? What about this? Or this? Or this and this and this? I found these papers in about 5 minutes after searching PubMed for "BPA", and there are undoubtedly many more. The biological ramifications of BPA exposure are well documented. The toxicity of BPA, especially to developing children, is irrefutable. Having done research on BPA myself, I know this as a fact.

So just what science have you been looking at, Gov. LePage? Of course, he doesn't cite a single study, but that is unsurprising for a politician. However, LePage recently appointed Patricia Aho - a former lobbyist for BPA-producing chemical companies - as the deputy commissioner for the Maine Department for Environmental Protection. I think that gives us a clue who's science he's been looking at.

This whole issue is eerily reminiscent of the kerfuffle over tetraethyl lead, and over CFCs. Both these chemicals have irrefutable deleterious health and environmental effects, but right-wing politicians fought tooth and nail against regulations on them, claiming that they were harmless when the science plainly said otherwise.

There is one problem with BPA that LePage sees, however:

“The only thing that I’ve heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards.”

No comments: