BPA Exposure Worse Than Thought

According to the University of Missouri (UM), reports of BPA exposure have been underestimated. Up until now, laboratory testing has looked at exposure to <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">bisphenol A (BPA) via single exposures; however, a new study finds that when looking at daily diets, exposure to the ubiquitous, estrogenic plastics chemical is much greater than believed.

The study is being described as the first to look at BPA levels in any animal following exposure through a steady diet that mimics the ongoing exposure to BPA that humans routinely receive through typical food packaging, said USA Today.

The ever-present polycarbonate plastic hardener has been implicated in a growing range of consumer products from baby bottles and sippy cups to eyeglass, CD and DVD cases, and water bottles. We recently wrote that the toxic chemical was found in ordinary thermal paper receipts—further intensifying its ubiquity—and presents a danger to aquatic health due to its presence in nautical paints. 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.

Acting as an anti-androgen—substances that block hormone activity—BPA affects sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children. BPA has been inked to toxic injury and life threatening illnesses in many hundreds of studies which have made these links 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, premature puberty, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), female fertility issues, erectile dysfunction, and male sexual problems. Recently, BPA, was linked, again, to sperm health issues this time, in a human study.

For their study, UM researchers exposed lab mice to BPA via feed and found noteworthy increases in active BPA. “When BPA is taken through the food, the active form may remain in the body for a longer period of time than when it is provided through a single treatment,” the study’s lead author, Cheryl Rosenfeld, associate professor in biomedical sciences, said in a statement, quoted USA Today. “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. Thus, this chemical can hinder our ability to reproduce and possibly cause behavioral abnormalities that we are just beginning to understand,” she added. The study was published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

In addition to growing concern over the negative impact of BPA on health and the environment, and despite tremendous public support for increased regulation concerning toxic chemicals, Congress has continued to act on the side of industry, long relying on the results of two studies that found BPA safe at current usage levels; however, those studies were industry conducted.

Another relatively new study on which we recently wrote noted that BPA, which is often used as a tin can liner, leaches out of cans and into foods, said Consumer Reports and the Environmental Working Group (EWG). That study looked at how the chemical is transported in can liners and found the chemical in nearly every product tested, including canned green beans, pasta, fruit, and chile, said the San Francisco Gate.

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