BPA Exposure Underestimated by Current Testing

Human exposure to the polycarbonate plastics chemical, <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">bisphenol A (BPA), through our diet has been underestimated, according to emerging research conducted by Bond Life Sciences Center investigator Cheryl Rosenfeld at the University of Missouri.

The incredibly ubiquitous chemical is present in a constantly growing range of consumer products that include baby bottles and sippy cups, eyeglass, CD and DVD cases, windshields, can liners, and water bottles, to name just a few. The toxic chemical has been found in ordinary thermal paper receipts, further intensifying its prevalence; presents a danger to aquatic health due to its presence in nautical paints; and can even be found in dental sealants.

BPA’s presence in can liners has long been known and remains a point of contention for consumer advocates and experts reporting on the risks of the chemical’s infiltration into our food chain. According to Environment News Service (ENS), BPA has been found in most of the world’s water sources and Rosenfeld says household dust and cigarette smoke and water supply pipes and water storage tank liners are other potential sources.

Because BPA is an estrogen mimicker, it interrupts the body’s endocrine processes and it has been linked to a wide range of illnesses and disorders including, said ENS, prostate and breast cancers and autism.

Rosenfeld’s study is the first to look at BPA blood concentrations following daily diet exposure, said ENS, challenging current protocols in which BPA is administered in a single oral dose and which does not realistically reflect real life BPA exposure. Because of this, prevailing research results are probably not accurately assessing the true amount of BPA that could accumulate in the human body, ENS noted.

Rosenfeld is associate professor in biomedical sciences and is the first researcher to look at BPA concentrations in animals following exposure in a “regular, daily diet,” said ENS, a more effective way in which to replicate the ongoing BPA exposure that occurs in animals and humans.

“People are primarily and unknowingly exposed to BPA through the diet because of the various plastic and paper containers used to store our food are formulated with BPA,” Rosenfeld said, quoted ENS. “We know that the active form of BPA binds to our steroid receptors, meaning it can affect estrogen, thyroid, and testosterone function. It might also cause genetic mutations,” she added. “This chemical can hinder our ability to reproduce and possibly cause behavioral abnormalities that we are just beginning to understand,” Rosenfeld noted. The study appears in the June 6 issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

The team exposed mice to BPA continuously via their food, considered the primary way in which animals and humans are exposed, said ENS. Because of this, the more “active” form of BPA was “absorbed and accumulated,” said ENS which pointed out that this BPA form presents the most serious threat since it can bind to sex steroid receptors and cause adverse effects, Rosenfeld said, reported ENS. “We believe that these mouse model studies where the BPA exposure is through the diet is a more accurate representation of what happens to BPA as the human body attempts to processes this toxic substance,” said Rosenfeld.

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