Report says BPA a Public Health Threat

A new analysis of over 80 published studies of human biomonitoring have found that the population at large is exposed to the ubiquitous and estrogenic plastics chemical <"">bisphenol A (BPA), and is at risk for internal or so-called unconjugated or biologically active exposure to BPA, writes Plastics News.

“The biomonitoring data indicate that human exposures are higher than have been suggested from the toxicokinetic studies,” said the report, which was released online last week. Toxicokinetic studies are studies that analyze concentration changes—over time—of a “chemical or a metabolite in blood/plasma or other tissue,” explained Plastics News. “These [biomonitoring] studies overwhelmingly detect BPA in individuals including adults, adolescents and children. The health of the public is at stake,” said the report from a team of global researchers led by Dr. Laura Vandenberg of Tufts University, quoted Plastics News.

“Because of the significant data showing human exposures to unconjugated BPA and animal data indicating increased susceptibility to disease at levels found in humans, we recommend that the precautionary principle be followed until further data on exposure of fetuses and children to BPA become available…. It is likely that fetuses and children are particularly vulnerable to BPA exposures and, at the same time, are exposed to higher levels of unconjugated BPA,” said the report, published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

The team looked at biomonitoring studies involving thousands of people in the U.S., Japan, China, Korea, and the European Union, specifically examining urine; blood; and fluids associated with pregnancy and lactation, such as amniotic fluid and breast milk, said Plastics News. The studies were concerned with “internal circulating levels and excreted concentrations of a chemical of interest,” which explain exposure from all sources, not simply suspected or specific sources, noted Plastics News.

BPA is commonly found in the lining of food and beverage cans, paper receipts, and is also found in a wide array of plastic products because of its use as a plastic hardener in polycarbonate manufacturing. USNews recently reported that other products, such as the resins used in nautical paint, which could be linked to high BPA levels found in “beach sand and coastal seawater” world-wide, said USNews.

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. Also, studies have overwhelmingly found BPA to have negative effects at doses lower than current FDA standards; retention in the body longer than was previously believed; leeching into liquids being held in containers regardless of the containers’ temperature; and longer lasting damage, which some feel can be passed to future generations.

Countless established and emerging reports continue to confirm that the chemical appears to cause significant disruption to the body’s endocrine system and has been linked to cardiovascular disease, intestinal problems, and brain cell connection interference. BPA has also been connected to 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. “British scientists have linked BPA to heart disease, diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities,” said Reuters previously.

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