Study Finds Higher BPA Exposure Than Previously Thought

An emerging study reveals human exposure to the ubiquitous estrogenic polycarbonate chemical <"">bisphenol A (BPA) is significantly higher than previously believed and also originates from a greater array of sources, many of which remain unknown, said Consumer Affairs. The recent study was published in the Environmental Health Perspectives online journal.

Hundreds of studies have linked BPA 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, premature puberty, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and erectile dysfunction and male sexual problems. BPA is found in the bodies of 93 percent of Americans and 90 percent of American newborns. With this study describing BPA’s effects on rodents and primates pointing to “human health predications,” said Consumer Affairs, the potential for adverse health effects is staggering.

This study looked at BPA effects in adult female rhesus macaques and adult female mice by researchers at the University of Missouri and the Washington State University, who then compared their findings to prior data concerning BPA exposure in women, said Consumer Affairs. The study is entitled, “Similarity of Bisphenol A Pharmacokinetics in Rhesus Monkeys and Mice: Relevance for Human Exposure.”

The researchers discovered what they described as significant commonalities in how BPA metabolizes in women, female monkeys, and female mice, saying that the results point to useful interpretations of animal data on BPA exposure in humans, noted Consumer Affairs.

The team also found what it described as a “grave” finding, saying that humans’ daily exposure BPA is much higher, and coming from even more sources, than governmental agencies, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have previously said, wrote Consumer Affairs.

“Our data raise grave concern that regulatory agencies have grossly underestimated current human exposure levels,” the study states. “On this basis of our findings, we propose that the higher-than-predicted serum levels of unconjugated BPA in men and women reflect significant non-oral BPA exposure in addition to oral exposure. This is consistent with other evidence suggesting that the consumption of BPA contaminated food and beverages alone is insufficient to account for the BPA levels reported in human biomonitoring studies,” quoted Consumer Affairs.

“One example of a recently identified source of human exposure to BPA is thermal (carbonless) paper receipts that could potentially result in trans-dermal exposure,” the study states, reported Consumer Affairs. The team also pointed out that, “There is significant leaching of BPA from children’s books and BPA is also present in cigarette filters, raising the concern that inhalation of cigarette smoke may be another previously unrecognized source of exposure for individuals who smoke,” quoted Consumer Affairs.

BPA is known to imitate the hormone estrogen. Acting as an anti-androgen—substances which block hormone activity—BPA affects sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children. Professor David Melzer, a scientist at Exeter University described BPA as “gender bending,” calling for BPA to undergo the same safety trials as emerging medications.

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