Charity calls for ban on ‘cancer chemical’

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“Urgent” action is needed to reduce women’s exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, a charity said.

Breast Cancer UK said there is “compelling” evidence that Bisphenol A (BPA) could be contributing to the rapid increase in the number of women being diagnosed with the disease – with incidence rates up by 90 per cent since 1971.

In a new report, it said that low-dose exposure to the chemical, which is routinely used in consumer products – including tin cans, plastic food packaging, water bottles and lunch boxes – has been linked to breast cancer and other diseases. It is calling for the hormone-disrupting chemical to be banned from all food and drinks packaging.

The report states: “The European Food Safety Authority … and the UK’s Food Standards Agency claim that BPA is safe, based on their assertion that our exposure to BPA is allegedly low and that humans rapidly eliminate it from the body. In reality … tests reveal that our daily exposure could be as much as eight times the so-called ‘safe’ limit.

“In addition to evidence to suggest that BPA could be a causative factor in breast cancer, studies show that it may also be implicated in other health 
problems such as infertility, obesity, prostate cancer, brain tumours, diabetes, heart disease and neurological and behavioural disorders. Urgent action is needed to reduce human exposure to BPA.”

Lynn Ladbrook, Breast Cancer UK campaigns manager, said: “The government can no longer sweep this sort of overwhelming evidence under the carpet.”