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Further Limiting Bisphenol A In Food Uses Could Provide Health And Economic Benefits

Author: Leonardo Trasande
$15.00

There is mounting evidence that bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and the linings of aluminum cans, may have adverse health consequences. The Food and Drug Administration has banned BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups but has deferred further action on other food uses—that is, uses in metal-based food and beverage containers. This article quantifies the potential social costs of childhood obesity and adult coronary heart disease attributable to BPA exposure in the United States in 2008 and models the potential health and economic benefits associated with replacing BPA in all food uses. BPA exposure was estimated to be associated with 12,404 cases of childhood obesity and 33,863 cases of newly incident coronary heart disease, with estimated social costs of $2.98 billion in 2008. Removing BPA from food uses might prevent 6,236 cases of childhood obesity and 22,350 cases of newly incident coronary heart disease per year, with potential annual economic benefits of $1.74 billion (sensitivity analysis: $889 million–$13.8 billion per year). Although more data are needed, these potentially large health and economic benefits could outweigh the costs of using a safer substitute for BPA.

There is mounting evidence that bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and the linings of aluminum cans, may have adverse health consequences. The Food and Drug Administration has banned BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups but has deferred further action on other food uses—that is, uses in metal-based food and beverage containers. This article quantifies the potential social costs of childhood obesity and adult coronary heart disease attributable to BPA exposure in the United States in 2008 and models the potential health and economic benefits associated with replacing BPA in all food uses. BPA exposure was estimated to be associated with 12,404 cases of childhood obesity and 33,863 cases of newly incident coronary heart disease, with estimated social costs of $2.98 billion in 2008. Removing BPA from food uses might prevent 6,236 cases of childhood obesity and 22,350 cases of newly incident coronary heart disease per year, with potential annual economic benefits of $1.74 billion (sensitivity analysis: $889 million–$13.8 billion per year). Although more data are needed, these potentially large health and economic benefits could outweigh the costs of using a safer substitute for BPA.

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