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Bisphenol A Controversy Heats Up Again

I've posted a number of warnings on my Web site about using food containers laced with bisphenol A (BPA) over the past four years. Seems a new study has rekindled the debate over its use, primarily due to a large disconnect between the interests of big business -- the insatiable thirst of cash being at the top of the list -- and the needless risks many of them take that often endanger your health.

Of the 115 published studies researchers reviewed on the low-dose effects of BPA, slightly more than 80 percent of them reported harmful effects on rats and mice. And more than 90 percent of studies conducted by scientists with no ties to industry found similar problems.

The 11 studies funded by chemical companies, however, found no evidence of harm to humans. That's very hard to believe, considering the Centers for Disease Control has reported levels of BPA have been detected in 95 percent of all the patients tested. And the lead researchers on the project called the findings stunning. So it shouldn't surprise you at all that the American Plastics Council blasted the report, calling it a slanted "op-ed piece" that slams those who sponsored favorable studies as a way of dodging the facts.

Fortunately, the real facts are what my Web site is all about. BPA was invented some 70 years ago during the search for synthetic estrogens. The substance is now deeply embedded in the products of modern consumer society, not just as the building block for polycarbonate plastic (from which it then leaches as the container ages) but also in the manufacture of epoxy resins and other plastics, including polysulfone, alkylphenolic, polyalylate, polyester-styrene and certain polyester resins.

According to the lead researcher, BPA mimics estradiol, a sex hormone that can trigger major changes to your body, which is why medical experts are so concerned about the impact of even tiny amounts of it showing up in people. Among the problems associated with BPA:

  • Structural damage to the brain.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Abnormal sexual behavior.
  • Increased fat formation.
  • Early puberty.
  • Disrupted reproductive cycles.

Environmental Health Perspectives Free Full-Text Download

USA Today April 14, 2005

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