New studies linking health problems like cancer and impotence to bisphenol A (BPA) — a chemical used in everything from baby bottles to soup cans — seems to come out every week. Government action on regulating BPA, however, has been coming only at a crawl. Only last month did the U.S. Food and Drug Administration express “some concern” about BPA’s effects on babies — while declining to regulate the chemical.

But last week, some good news about BPA regulation finally came from California, when the state’s Environmental Protection Agency took a step towards listing BPA as a reproductive toxicant!

California has a law — a.k.a. Proposition 65 — that puts chemicals found to be a carcinogen or reproductive toxicant by an authoritative scientific body on a list. If BPA is put on that list, products containing BPA could be forced to carry labels or language disclosing that their products are made with a potentially harmful chemical. “In many cases, manufacturers have chosen to remove Prop. 65 chemicals from their products rather than label them,” notes a press release from Breast Cancer Fund, an environmental health nonprofit that’s been fighting for BPA bans in the U.S.

So far, Cal-EPA has said BPA, “appears to meet the criteria for listing as known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity” — though BPA hasn’t officially been labeled a reproductive toxicant yet. Want California to lead the way toward BPA bans? The Cal-EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is currently taking public comments about whether or not BPA should be listed as a reproductive toxicant. Send your comment by 5 p.m. on Tues., April 13, 2010, to

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