Babies Most Vulnerable to BPA Absorption

An emerging study from ETH Zurich has found that babies fed with polycarbonate bottles—bottles containing what Science Daily described as the hormonally active <"">bisphenol A (BPA)—are at increased risks. As we have long been saying, the issue of adverse health effects linked to the estrogenic plastic chemical has been making headlines in recent years, with a focus on the controversies regarding its harm ongoing among industry, the government, and consumer advocates.

BPA is present in a wide array of consumer products and can be found, said Science Daily, in synthetic and packaging materials. Because of this, noted Science Daily, BPA can work its way into the food chain and into the human body.

BPA a plastic hardener used in polycarbonate manufacturing, is commonly found in the lining of food and beverage cans, paper receipts, and a wide array of plastic products. USNews recently reported that other products, such as the resins used in nautical paint, may contain BPA, which could be linked to high BPA levels found in “beach sand and coastal seawater” world-wide, said USNews.
According to Science Daily, some three million tons of BPA are produced each year world-wide.

BPA performs like the hormone estrogen and as an anti-androgen, which means, even in the smallest of amounts, BPA affects sexual development and processes, especially in the bodies of developing fetuses, infants, and children, explained Science Daily.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which had been roundly criticized for relying on two chemical industry studies indicating that BPA poses no health concerns at current exposure levels recently reversed its position saying it has “some concern” about BPA’s effects on the brain; behavior; and prostates of fetuses, infants, and young children. This concern level is the third of five at the agency.

Hundreds of studies have linked the ubiquitous chemical to a growing number of diseases and disorders and continue to confirm that BPA appears to cause significant disruption to the body’s endocrine system and has been linked to cardiovascular disease, intestinal problems, brain cell connection interference, increased risks of reproductive and immune system diseases and disorders, problems with liver function testing, interruptions in chemotherapy treatment, links with serious health problems, and erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems in males. In urine tests, BPA is found in the overwhelming majority of Americans, more than 93 percent and, significantly, the chemical is found in 90 percent of all newborns.

Industry has long argued that scientists and advocates exaggerate BPA’s adverse effects, continually citing two industry studies; however, at last count, over 900 peer-reviewed studies found links between BPA and such effects. The recent study, reported Science Daily, found that babies and infants absorb the most BPA with babies being fed with PC bottles being the most significantly and adversely affected.

Because BPA is found in differing amounts in, for instance, canned foods, further studies are called for to determine how to limit the chemical’s release into food, while also maintaining the food’s safety, said Science Daily. For instance, the BPA-containing coating prevents food and the cans from corrosion, pointed out Science Daily.

Studies have overwhelmingly found BPA to have negative effects at doses lower than current FDA standards; retention in the body longer than was previously believed; leeching into liquids being held in containers regardless of the containers’ temperature; and longer lasting damage, which some feel can be passed to future generations.

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