High BPA Levels in Children May Predict Future Disease

Children and adolescents who tested with high urinary bisphenol A (BPA) levels also revealed evidence of low-grade albuminuria, a potential marker for future of kidney and cardiovascular disease, according to emerging research.

“We suggest that the low-grade albuminuria associated with higher levels of [urinary] BPA reflect oxidant stress and generalized endothelial dysfunction,” Howard Trachtman, MD, and colleagues from New York University School of Medicine in New York City, wrote in Kidney International. “Our study raises the concern that BPA exposure during childhood may contribute to early atherosclerotic changes in children and adolescents, similar to the development of angiographically confirmed coronary artery atherosclerosis associated with BPA exposure in adults,” they added.

Research has implicated BPA in a number of metabolic abnormalities, including estrogenic, or hormonal, effects; changes in how glucose is metabolized; and adipocyte, or fat cell production. Studies also point to evidence of oxidative stress in the exposed kidney, and a Chinese study found that BPA in urine was associated with albuminuria (protein leakage) in the urine, which signifies early renal damage, said MedPage Today. Urinary BPA has also been linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes in adults.

Although children are known to be especially vulnerable to environmental exposures, BPA’s effects on children has not been studied, said MedPageToday. Because of this, the team reviewed data from a sampling of the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, including 710 participants ages 6-19 who had urinary BPA and creatinine measurements, MedPageToday explained.

“These findings broaden the array of adverse effects associated with [urinary] BPA, for which the evidence is strongest for decrements in neurodevelopmental and fertility outcomes, and increases in obesity and cardiovascular disease,” the researchers wrote. Longer-term studies are needed to determine if the low-grade albuminuria observed translates into metabolic syndrome and renal dysfunction, said MedPage Today.

As we’ve long written, BPA is an estrogenic polycarbonate plastics chemical most recently linked to chromosomal damage and egg development disruption in lab studies. A ubiquitous phenol-acetone chemical and estrogenic mimicker and hormone disrupter, BPA leeches from food/beverage containers into foods; yet, BPA is U.S. Food & Drug Administration- (FDA) approved for use in shatter-resistant polycarbonate plastic and durable epoxy resins, which are used in food/beverage container linings. BPA leaches into the skin and into products—hot or cold—from common items (paper money, toilet paper, receipts). An anti-androgen, BPA blocks hormone activity; mimics the powerful female hormone, estrogen; and can interrupt sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, children, and teens.

BPA’s links to reproductive system diseases are staggering and span to fetal development, likely due to its hormone-mimicking and -blocking properties. Issues include effects on uterine health and mammalian reproduction; a deadly uterine infection; premature puberty; Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and other female fertility and endocrine issues; and erectile dysfunction and male sexual problems.

BPA’s effects are immediate, long lasting, and trans-generational, meaning effects could carry years into the future and effects on past generations could harm future generations. Despite this, the FDA said the information on BPA does not suggest that very low BPA exposure through diet is unsafe.

Studies highlight BPA’s impact on the body’s endocrine system and hormonal functioning. Hormones are critical to much of the body’s functioning and endocrine glands and the hormones these glands release, which affect nearly every cell and bodily organ and are responsible for mood regulation, growth and development, tissue function, metabolism, sexual functioning, and reproductive processes.

BPA has been linked to strange changes in wildlife, including intersex fish and bears and frogs born with multiple testes or ovaries. BPA was recently linked to increased heart risks; behavior problems were linked to tooth fillings containing the chemical; and BPA was linked to childhood and teenage obesity. Studies have linked BPA to a wide and growing range of health effects that seem to affect nearly every bodily system: Brain tumors, hormone-sensitive cancers, brain and social behaviors, increased anxiety and depression, brain cell connection interference, interruptions in chemotherapy treatment, increased risks of immune system diseases and disorders, liver function and intestinal problems, and cardiac issues and fat cell confusion and pancreatic issues relating to diabetes.

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