"We don't know what the health effects are of BPA at lower levels," said Gerwig.
Most chemicals pose harmful effects at very high exposure levels, said Dr. Robert Brent, professor of pediatrics, radiology and pathology at Thomas Jefferson University in Wilmington, Del.
"The threshold for developmental effects from BPA exposure is far above the levels to which the human populations are exposed," he said.
A 2008 report by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found detectable levels of BPA in 93 percent of urine samples from people 6 years and older. Concentrations of the compound were higher in children and teens than in adults, which raised concern about BPA's potential to interfere with normal human growth and development, according to the report.
According to Dr. David Egilman, associate professor of community health at Brown University in Providence, R.I., current evidence is enough to prompt government agencies to restrict the use of the compound in the U.S. Companies that are using BPA are "trespassing by putting chemicals in people," he said.
"I know it's not the end of civilization if we have to take this out of products," said Egilman.
The FDA has reportedly set aside $30 million to study BPA's safety over the next 18 to 24 months. The EPA has authority to restrict the use of chemicals that pose risks to the environment and public health.
Many experts have advised people not to heat plastic containers that contain BPA in the microwave or running the containers through the dishwasher. Containers made out of the plastic 'polycarbonate' may contain BPA, according to some, and unless polycarbonate products are marketed as BPA-free, they should be treated as if they contain the chemical.