The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has inaugurated a Technical Committee (TC) on the use of Bisphenol – A (BPA) in Nigeria.
Bisphenol is an organic synthetic compound with the chemical formula belonging to the group of diphenylmethane derivatives and bisphenols, with two hydroxyphenyl groups. It is a colorless solid that is soluble in organic solvents, but poorly soluble in water.
At the inauguration in Abuja, the Minister of Health, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdulazeez Mashi Abdullahi , noted that the BPA was not only used in bottled water plastics but also a structural component in Polycarbonate plastic used for consumer and industrial products.
Prof Adewole further said that it included medical equipment / devices and electronics while it was also found in epoxy resins, which acted as a protective lining on the inside of some metal based food and beverages cans used all over the world including Nigeria, “BPA had been in use in food packaging materials since 1960s’’ the Minister added.
He however stressed that the BPA had been the subject of controversy for many years because of claims that it had the potential to cause adverse health effect, as exposure to BPA would lead to unexpected effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and children, as well as earlier age for puberty for female at current human exposures.
The Minister informed that ‘’ the House of Representatives on Wednesday 7th June, 2017, deliberated on the need to regulate the use of Bisphenol – A (BPA) plastic in the production of bottled water and resolved vide Resolution (HR. 247/2017) as follows.’’
1. Urge the Federal Government to ban the use of Bisphenol – A plastics in the production of bottle water
2. Mandate the Committee on Healthcare Services to liaise with relevant agencies and companies producing bottled water to work out Modalities on how to effectively put an embargo on the use of BPA plastics in the Country.
To this end, the Minister spelt out the Terms of References as follows:
· To Carry out comprehensive investigations on the safety or otherwise of the use of BPA plastics in the production of packaging materials for food, beverages and most especially bottled water in the country ,considering the permissible level ,environmental and other necessary factors
· Advise the Federal Government on the resolution of the House of Rep. to ban the use of Bisphenol –A (BPA) plastics in the production of bottled water in the country
· Undertake any other necessary activities and co – opt any other relevant MDAs that may be necessary for the achievement of the Mandate.
Responding on behalf of the TC, the Chairman, Prof. Babajide Alo pledged that the committee was committed to the task ahead and would deliver on its mandate.