Late August, I wrote that Environment Canada — an agency similar to the U.S.’ EPA — revealed plans to add bisphenol-A to its list of toxic substances. Now those plans have turned into action and reality. Canada officially declared BPA a toxic substance this week.

BPA’s a chemical found in everything from hard plastic bottles to cash register receipts to cans containing food — and linked to everything from breast cancer to sexual dysfunction — so Canada’s declaration will have wide-reaching effects. Many MNNers have been trying to avoid BPA voluntarily for years; now that voluntary lifestyle choice could become the default decision for consumers.

To be clear, Environment Canada’s decision isn’t a ban on BPA — though the agency’s move could make future bans more likely, according to the New York Times. And the toxic designation could get companies to get the maligned chemical out of their products voluntarily.

What about BPA in the U.S.? Well, we’re behind Canada. The New York Times summarizes the progress we’ve made so far:

In the United States, about half a dozen states have banned BPA in children’s products. The federal government has taken no action, saying there is no proof of harm in humans. But health and regulatory agencies have concerns about BPA and have commissioned more studies.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and FDA are among those agencies. Also, earlier this year, California took a step towards listing BPA as a reproductive toxicant.
BPA officially a toxic substance in Canada
Canada's declaration could pave the way for bans on BPA -- currently found in plastic bottles, can liners, cash register receipts, and other products.