Study Links BPA to Brain Tumors

A new study has linked bisphenol A—BPA—to brain tumors. BPA is a ubiquitous polycarbonate plastics compound that uses a combination of phenol and acetone, enters food when it leeches from food and beverage containers, and has been approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for use in shatter-resistant polycarbonate plastic and durable epoxy resins.

BPA leaches into products—hot or cold—and into the skin, from common items such as paper money, toilet paper, and receipts and works in the body as an anti-androgen, a substance that blocks hormone activity, and mimics estrogen, a powerful female hormone. Because of this, BPA affects, even interrupts, sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children.

This new study, the first suggesting a BPA-tumor link, found that BPA exposure is a potential risk factor for meningioma brain tumors, according to a study from China, wrote Environmental Health News. This study revealed that people with the highest BPA levels were 1.6 times likelier to be diagnosed meningioma compared to people with lower concentrations. The link was present even after accounting for other factors linked to meningioma, wrote Environmental Health News.

The team reviewed the association between BPA exposure and meningioma diagnosis, following 247 patients with the brain cancer and 258 patients with no cancer history and who were receiving medical exams at the Union Hospital in Wuhan, China, said Environmental Health News. Meningioma was confirmed with a brain scan or a biopsy and BPA concentrations were measured in the participants’ urine. Researchers employed questionnaires and medical records to collect information on potential meningioma factors, such as age, gender, use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), body mass index (BMI), and family history of cancer.

Participants were put in one of four exposure groups based on BPA urine concentrations. A positive association between BPA concentrations in urine and meningioma diagnosis was seen in patients in the top three of four groups and were likelier to be diagnosed when compared to those with the lower concentration. Results support prior studies, which indicate that while gender, BMI, and HRT use influence meningioma risks, when considering BPA links, personal factors did not alter results.

The study also revealed that BPA exposure may be a factor for the hormone-related brain cancer meningioma and prior studies in animals revealed a link between BPA and some hormone-sensitive cancers, including breast and prostate cancer, said Environmental Health News. The study, wrote the authors, “demonstrated emerging evidence of the role of environmental exposure to BPA on estrogen-sensitive tumors in humans.”

We recently wrote that a prior study suggested that the side effects of BPA may be long lasting and that the effects seen during gestation were immediate as well as long lasting and trans-generational, impacting the brains and social behaviors of mice. The issue of trans-generational effects is significant, said Emilie Rissman, PhD, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and lead study author, and means that BPA’s effects could be seen many years into the future.

Many hundreds of scientific studies have linked BPA to toxic injury and life threatening illnesses, including future cardiac issues; breast cancer; and for mixing the body’s hormones, tricking fat cells into taking in more fat or confusing the pancreas into releasing too much insulin. Studies have linked BPA to increased anxiety and depression in preschoolers exposed to BPA in the womb; toxic injury and implications in intestinal problems; brain cell connection interference; increased risks of immune system diseases and disorders; problems with liver function testing; and interruptions in chemotherapy treatment.

BPA’s links to the reproductive system disease are dramatic and include issues with 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 in males as young as the developing fetus.

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