Mike Rogge

Bisphenol A solutions offered by CalEPA

By Mike Rogge

Capitol Update, March 18, 2016 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On Thursday, March 10th, California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) Secretary Matt Rodriquez, Undersecretary Gordon Burns and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) hierarchy met with representatives of industries that would be impacted by the Proposition 65 listing of bisphenol A (BPA) and the pending deadline of May 11th to have warnings in place on products containing BPA.

The industry coalition had met previously with OEHHA and CalEPA management on several occasions since BPA was listed in May 2015 in an attempt to get OEHHA to establish a Maximum Allowable Detection Level (MADL), essentially a safe harbor level beneath which a label would not be required. OEHHA maintained that they did not have studies that they felt comfortable relying upon to establish a MADL and that they intended to hold off until national studies currently in progress were completed.

Secretary Rodriquez on March 10th laid out two proposals and an additional option which the agency thought could benefit the manufacturing community.

1)    Start emergency regulations to establish a MADL of dermal (tactile) exposure proposing a MADL of 3 mcg, stating that this should suffice for products like cellphones, toys, glasses, etc. where the only exposure would be by touch. 

2)    Establish a MADL at this time for bottled and canned food and beverages, but amend regulations allowing for point of sale warnings in the checkout area where the products are sold. A trade association or other authorized agent might act on behalf of the manufacturer, distributor or importer to distribute the minimum 5” x 5” signs. The sign must state:

WARNING:Many cans containing foods and beverages sold here have epoxy linings used to avoid microbial contamination and extend shelf life. Lids on jars and caps on bottles may also have epoxy linings. Some of these linings can leach small amounts of bisphenol A (BPA) into the food or beverage. BPA is a chemical known to the State of California to cause harm to the female reproductive system. For more information, go to: www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/BPA

The emergency regulations would be in effect for one year.

3)    Manufacturers could negotiate a Settlement Agreement with the Attorney General. CalEPA would try to make sure that these agreements were expedited.

This option would allow a company to tailor the compliance timeframe to their product line as they attempt to find a substitute, protecting the company against third party lawsuits.

On March 17th, OEHHA posted the emergency regulations on their website: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/whats_new/index.html. Comments on the dermal MADL are due to OEHHA by 5:00pm on May 16, 2016. 

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