BPA Study Finds Toxin Remains in Children’s Bodies

We have long been reporting about the dangers of <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">Bisphenol A—BPA—the dangerous, ubiquitous, estrogen-mimicking chemical that hardens plastic, is known to be present in a wide array of products, and has been linked to numerous health problems and treatment interruptions.  Of particular concern is BPA’s presence in children’s products.  Now, the Canadian Press is citing a University of Guelph study warning consumers to discard all BPA-containing products used by babies or pregnant women.

The study, conducted by a toxicologist, who is also a Guelph graduate, discovered that BPA lingers in the bodies of newborns and infants, said the Canadian Press, noting that when compared to adults, vulnerable babies may test with an astounding 11 times more BPA in their systems. Len Ritter—professor in Guelph’s Department of Environmental Biology and executive director of the Canadian Network of Toxicology Centres—published the study late last year in Environmental Health Perspectives, along with senior author Andrea Edginton, a Guelph graduate and professor at the University of Waterloo’s school of pharmacy.

BPA has been linked to a variety of diseases including an increased risk of diseases or disorders of the brain, reproductive, and immune systems; recent studies have linked BPA exposure to problems with liver function testing, an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, and interruptions in chemotherapy treatment; and BPA exposure has long been linked to hormonal disturbances.  BPA was also linked to serious health problems based on 130 studies conducted in the past 10 years, the Washington Post reported late last year, and newer research found BPA to have negative effects at “very low doses,” lower than the FDA’s safety standards currently in place.

Most recently, Web MD also reported that studies show that BPA seems to stay in the body longer than previously believed, adding that the chemical is so ubiquitous, that it can be found virtually everywhere and is present in “detectable levels” in just about every human body.

The Canadian Press also pointed out that BPA is present in a variety of consumer items such as baby bottles, liquid formula containers, food cans, and reusable water bottles and can leach from these containers and be ingested into the body.  “I would advise a pregnant woman to try to reduce or entirely eliminate her exposure to bisphenol A,” said Ritter, reported the Canadian Press.  Another study published last year using human subjects revealed BPA levels in children were 10 times higher than in adults, reported the Canadian Press.  “It was exactly what we had predicted,” said Ritter to the paper, which noted that governments must expedite the reduction or elimination of BPA exposure, especially in the youngest populations, said Ritter.  “The target in a sensitive population is zero,” Ritter warned.

Health Canada is writing regulations to ban polycarbonate baby bottles containing BPA and Canada is the first country to take steps to ban BPA in these containers, said the Canadian Press.  Most recently, Chicago has also taken steps to ban BPA in its city.

Meanwhile, the FDA continues to maintain that current BPA exposure levels do not pose an immediate health risk to the general population, including infants and young children, despite that the agency relied solely on two industry-funded studies for its information, something for which it has long been criticized.

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