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The first synthetic plastic was created in 1907 by chemist Leo Baekeland, who called this liquid resin Bakelite. By the 1920s, the plastic craze was in full gear. By 1939, petroleum companies were introducing nylons. In the 1940s and 50s, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), plastic wrap and nonstick surfaces were developed. During this same time, Bisphenol A (BPA) became a key component of hard plastics and can still be found in the lining of cans and polycarbonates today. Currently, the U.S. produces approximately 2 billion tons of BPA per year; however, Canada recently ruled that BPA is toxic to both human and environmental health.
Primary Task: write 400–500 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas:
- What are some possible detrimental health effects associated with BPA?
- Explain the position of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding BPA. (Hint: The FDA’s position was updated in 2012)
- Explain the position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding minimizing an infant’s exposure to BPA.
- What is the position of your state government regarding BPA?
- Do you feel that BPA should be more tightly regulated in the US? Why or why not?