ABUJA – (Federal Ministry of Health Report) – The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole (Prof) has inaugurated a technical committee on the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in Nigeria.
In his remarks at the inauguration which held recently in Abuja, the Minister represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health, Abdulazeez Mashi Abdullahi noted that BPA is not only used in bottled water plastics, but also as a structural component of Polycarbonate plastics used for consumer and industrial products.
Isaac Adewole further revealed that it includes medical equipments, devices and electronics, just as it is also found in epoxy resins, which act as a protective lining on the inside of some of the metal – based food and beverage cans utilised across the world, including Nigeria. “BPA has been in use in food packaging materials since 1960s,” the Minister espoused.
He however stressed that BPA has been the subject of controversy for many years because of claims that it has the potential to cause adverse health effects, as exposure to BPA may lead to unexpected defects on the brain, the behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children as well as early age puberty for females through human exposures.
The Minister later informed that the House of Representatives on Wednesday 7th of June, 2017 deliberated on the need to regulate the use of Bisphenol – A (BPA) plastics in the production of bottled water and resolved vide Resolution (HR. 247/2017) that the Federal Government should be urged to ban the use of Bisphenol – A plastics in the production of bottle water and that the Committee on Healthcare Services should be mandated 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.
In line with the resolutions above, the Minister spelt out the Terms of References for the newly inaugurated committee to include the following:
Carrying 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 of environmental and other necessary factors.
Advising the Federal Government on the resolution of the House of Representatives to ban the use of Bisphenol – A (BPA) plastics in the production of bottled water in the country.
Undertaking any other necessary activities and co-opting any other relevant MDAs that may be necessary for the achievement of the mandate.
Responding on behalf of members, the Chairman of the Committee on Bisphenol Plastics Use, Babajide Alo (Prof) pledged that the Committee will be committed to the task ahead and would deliver on its mandate.