Bisphenol A (BPA), the ubiquitous hormone-disrupting chemical found in everything from plastic and thermal receipts to aluminum cans and dollar bills, rarely goes a week without making the headlines.
Here’s the latest – good and bad.
Two weeks ago, the historically conservative American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a policy to officially recognize BPA as an endocrine-disrupting agent and to urge that products containing BPA be clearly labeled. The AMA’s policy urges a “shift to a more robust, science-based, and transparent federal regulatory framework for oversight of BPA” and even supports a ban on selling products for babies that contain BPA.
- Why are tax-payers shouldering the expense of these tests and not the manufacturers? (Especially during a time when fundamental social services like education are increasingly facing budget cuts?)
- Why aren’t these tests conducted prior to a chemical being used in everyday products?
- Isn’t there enough evidence of risk?
In regards to that final question, studies have shown that BPA can mimic the action of estrogen and may be linked to male sexual dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, liver abnormalities, and breast cancer.
Even more evidence has come to light in the past two weeks:
- Another study examined environmental degradation of BPA. As reported in Chemical & Engineering News, “significant amounts of BPA end up in the environment, where bacteria could transform it to compounds with unknown properties and health effects.” Researchers selected 4 common bacteria and found they convert BPA into compounds even more toxic than BPA. The tests have only been conducted in the lab in regards to impacts on fish, but – still – it does not bode well.
- Yet another new study found that prenatal exposure to low levels of BPA caused rats to become obese and unhealthy as adults. Interestingly, according to Environmental Health News, the effects were seen at a low dose currently considered safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency but not at a medium or high dose.
What Can You Do? Read the rest of this blog at HealthyChild.org and join thousands of people taking the BPA challenge this July!