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FDA to Review BPA-Safety Decision

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The U.S. government has agreed to reconsider its position that Bisphenol-A, a chemical used to harden plastics, is safe at levels found in baby bottles and other everyday products, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said the review should be complete by the end of summer or early fall. The FDA's acting chief scientist is in charge of the review, she said.

Democrats on the House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday sent a letter to Hamburg asking the agency to review a decision made last August, when it determined that BPA, as the chemical is known, was safe at levels currently used for plastic bottles and other food and beverage containers.

But other studies suggest BPA causes health problems in humans. The FDA, which was criticized by some of its own advisers for its initial decision, agreed to review some of those studies, the Journal reported.

BPA, a hardening agent, is also found in CDs, bike helmets, sunglasses and in the linings of bottle tops and metal cans.

Containers of pre-mixed infant formula contain BPA, and health advocates wonder what effect that might have on babies. It's also in some plastic baby bottles, although many baby-bottle makers have discontinued using BPA.

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