BPA Linked to Heart Problems in Women

We have been writing about the harm that <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">bisphenol A—widely known as BPA—can wreak upon the human body. Now, more evidence is emerging regarding the dangers posed by the ubiquitous, estrogen-mimicking chemical additive in use since the 1950s. Science Daily reports that emerging research by a University of Cincinnati (UC) team points to BPA being harmful to the heart, especially the female heart.

Although industry has long argued that BPA is safe at current levels, the plastic additive has been linked to an increased risk of brain, reproductive, cardiac, and immune system diseases and disorders; problems with liver function testing; and interruptions in chemotherapy treatment. BPA is also associated with serious health problems based on over 200 studies which found it to have negative effects at “very low doses,” lower than the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) current safety standards. Studies also revealed BPA stays in the body longer than previously believed. According to an earlier LA Times piece, a study confirmed what experts have also long suspected, containers made with BPA leach the chemical into the liquids being held, even when not heated.

The new research, being presented in Washington, D.C., at ENDO 09, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting this week, reveals BPA—and/or estrogen— “causes abnormal activity in hearts of female rats and mice,” said Science Daily, adding that the team found that estrogen receptors caused the effect in heart muscle tissue. The research was led by Scott Belcher, PhD, Hong Sheng Wang, PhD, and Jo El Schultz, PhD, from UC’s department of pharmacology and cell biophysics.

“There is broad exposure to bisphenol A, despite recognition that BPA can have harmful effects. We had reason to believe that harmful cardiovascular affects can be added to the list,” said Belcher, quoted Science Daily. “Low doses of BPA markedly increased the frequency of arrhythmic events. The effect of BPA on these cardiac arrhythmias was amplified when exposed to estradiol, the major estrogen hormone in humans,” Belcher added.

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The research found the results of BPA on cardiac cells were sex-specific, targeting cardiac effects in females that could likely lead to “heart arrhythmias and may have other harmful actions, especially following heart attack,” said Belcher. “These studies have identified new and important potential cardiac risks associated with BPA exposure that may be especially important for women’s heart health,” Belcher added, reported Science Daily.

Showdown in Little Tokyo hd The FDA has long maintained that BPA is safe despite that the agency relied solely on two industry-funded studies for its draft review, something for which the FDA has been severely criticized. Despite the agency’s and industry’s assertions that the “environmental pollutant with estrogen activity” (described by Science Daily) is safe, the chemical used to harden plastic and which can be found in many consumer products, including baby bottles, sippy cups, and food product containers, is being met with growing opposition.

Wisconsin just became the third state to introduce a bill to ban BPA-containing baby bottle and sippy cup sales for children. Earlier this month, California voted on a similar bill that is in the Assembly, and New York’s Suffolk County, Chicago, Minnesota, and Connecticut all have similar bans in effect. Key members in the U.S. House and Senate introduced legislation for a federal ban on BPA in all food and beverage containers, and 24 states have bills in the works to restrict the toxin; Canada was the first country to announce plans to ban BPA. Also, newly appointed FDA commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, said the agency is reconsidering its decision that BPA is safe at current levels, especially those found in baby bottles.

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