Even “BPA-Free” Products Leach Estrogen Mimicking Chemicals, Study Finds

<"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">Bisphenol A—BPA—long a culprit in the controversy regarding estrogen- and hormone-mimicking compounds leaching out of plastic consumer products might not be the only chemical culprit. According to a new study being published in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives, most plastic products in use can release estrogenic chemicals, said Sky Valley Chronicle.

The study’s objective was to “determine whether commercially available plastic resins and products, including baby bottles and other products advertised as BPA-free, release chemicals having EA,” quoted Sky Valley Chronicle (e.g., having estrogenic activity.) EA refers to estrogenic activity. The study did not review if chemical leaching, which can occur with time and use, is dangerous to humans, but the study did reveal that even in BPA-free products, EA occurred.

One problem is that while more and more products are being touted as BPA-free, other chemicals are being substituted and the effects of those chemicals are not always known or widely studied, said Sky Valley Chronicle. Also, when studies are conducted, they do not generally study the effects of these chemicals on humans.

For this study, the researchers purchased over 450 plastic items from an array of grocery stores, buying items meant to come in contact with “food, baby bottles, deli packaging, flexible bags, and other things,” said Sky Valley Chronicle. The plastic items were then chopped and soaked in either a saltwater or alcohol solution to determine what was released. Over 70 percent released estrogenic chemicals even before being exposed to typical life situations such as microwaving, dishwashing, and simulated sunlight activity, noted Sky Valley Chronicle.

When so-called real-world conditions were presented, nearly all of the products—a stunning 95 percent—tested positive for estrogen mimicking chemicals. “Almost all commercially available plastic products we sampled, independent of the type of resin, product, or retail source, leached chemicals having reliably-detectable EA, including those advertised as BPA-free. In some cases, BPA-free products released chemicals having more EA than BPA-containing products,” said the abstract, quoted Sky Valley Chronicle.

The study concluded that, “Many plastic products are mischaracterized as being EA-free if extracted with only one solvent and not exposed to common-use stresses,” but, said the researchers, commercially available processing agents can be used by manufacturers in place of what is being used that would remove the “potential health risk” posed by most of today’s plastic products that leach estrogenic chemicals into food products, quoted Sky Valley Chronicle.

Acting as an anti-androgen—substances that block hormone activity—BPA affects sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children and BPA has been inked to toxic injury and life threatening illnesses such as 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.

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