BPA Linked to Hormone Changes in Men

We routinely write about the ubiquitous plastic hardener <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">bisphenol A (BPA) and its myriad links to adverse health effects. Used in polycarbonate manufacturing, BPA is commonly found in the lining of food and beverage cans, thermal paper receipts, a wide array of plastic products, and resins used in nautical paint. And, while it has long been recognized that BPA affects animal hormone levels, emerging science points to the same issues in humans, wrote Environmental Health News.

Of note, BPA in nautical paint means the chemical could be linked to high BPA levels found in “beach sand and coastal seawater” worldwide, said USNews previously.

Hundreds and 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.

BPA 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.

According to Environmental Health News, BPA was first produced in 1891 and has long been linked to its “estrogenic properties in animals.”

For this most recent study, researchers measured BPA concentrations in the urine of 167 men from a Massachusetts infertility clinic, as well as hormone levels in the men’s blood, said Environmental Health News. The research revealed that men with higher urine BPA concentrations also tested with increased blood levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and decreased levels of inhibin B; these particular measures are linked with poorer human sperm quality, added Environmental Health News.

The study also found a decrease in the estrogen-to-testosterone ratio, which could point to issues in how these hormones are produced or removed from the body, said Environmental Health News, adding that the research also found a decrease in thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which suggests excessive thyroid hormone production, or a hyperthyroidic effect. These study results support prior animal studies pointing to links between hormone levels and BPA exposure.

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.

Regardless, a number of countries, states, and other entities have issued bans on BPA, which imitates the hormone estrogen and acts as an anti-androgen. This 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 previously. Canada was the first country to issue a BPA ban; Denmark recently followed; three U.S. states have issued bans; and France is considering a ban, as is Massachusetts.

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