Sharpen your pencils and warm up your typing fingers. It's time to write a letter.

Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would like to receive public comment on whether or not the agency should require new toxicity testing and environmental sampling for BPA, that oh-so-unpopular estrogen-mimicking chemical that has been found lurking in everything from canned foods to dollar bills.

“A number of concerns have been raised about the potential human health and environmental effects of BPA,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. The proposed new tests, he said, “would help EPA better understand and address the potential environmental impacts of BPA.”

Check out the EPA's BPA Action Plan website to get a better idea of where the EPA currently stands on BPA. The site includes the disturbing statistic that releases of BPA to the environment exceed 1 million pounds per year. Here's more from the EPA:

"Because BPA is a reproductive, developmental, and systemic toxicant in animal studies and is weakly estrogenic, there are questions about its potential impact particularly on children’s health and the environment. Studies employing standardized toxicity tests used globally for regulatory decision-making indicate that the levels of BPA in humans and the environment are below levels of potential concern for adverse effects. However, results of some recent studies using novel low-dose approaches and examining different endpoints describe subtle effects in laboratory animals at very low concentrations. Some of these low-dose studies are potentially of concern for the environment because the concentration levels identified with effects are similar to some current environmental levels to which sensitive aquatic organisms may be exposed."

Read the full docket of studies that the EPA is referring to here. And then get ready to submit your own comments regarding BPA here. Comments will be accepted until Sept. 26, 2011. 

EPA revisits toxicity testing for BPA
Federal agency solicits public input on a decision to require new toxicity testing for BPA.