Representing the industry, The American Chemistry Council responded quickly to the announcement, claiming the state was ignoring scientific evidence and pledging to continue pursuit of its March lawsuit. "We strongly disagree with California's decision to move forward with listing BPA under Proposition 65 and we will continue with our legal efforts to overturn this action," said Steven G. Hentges, Ph.D., of the American Chemistry Council's Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group.
While plastic industry advocates may disagree with environmental and public health organizations, all parties acknowledge that the dangers posed by BPA are real. Debate on the subject now centers on acceptable levels of the chemical. Last week, a group of scientists lead by Yale University's Dr. Csaba Leranth said that California's maximum allowable dose level of 290 micrograms per day was too high, and asked them to reduce it to 50 micrograms. Opponents like Janssen want to err on the side of caution and remove the plasticizer from consumers products entirely, while The American Chemistry Council noted that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the chemical is "safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods."
The stakes in the BPA battle are high, as California's ruling will set a precedent for other states in the future. Even though the OEHHA made its decision, the fight is expected to continue in the state. Dr. Leranth said his associates would continue to advocate for lower dose levels, while Hentges of the American Chemistry Council said his organization was not prepared to give up challenging the legislation. "Because the regulatory and scientific process has been derailed, we will continue to pursue legal action," he said.