The story of BPA aka bisphenol A is not yet over. In fact, researchers believe that what we currently know about this compound is just the tip of the iceberg. As you may recall, BPA is a compound used in the manufacture of plastics. It is also an endocrine disrupting compound and micmics estrogen. BPA has been linked to a wide range of health problems from cardiovascular disease, to impaired fertility, neurological and developmental disorders and cancer.
According to University of Missouri researcher Dr. Julia Taylor:
“For years, BPA manufacturers have argued that BPA is safe and have denied the validity of more than 200 studies that showed adverse health effects in animals due to exposure to very low doses of BPA. We know that BPA leaches out of products that contain it, and that it acts like estrogen in the body.”
A recent study published in NIH journal Environmental Health Perspectives shows that metabolism of BPA is similar in female humans, female monkeys, and female mice and BPA effects on the animals are grounds for major concern. According to study author Frederick vom Saal, professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri:
“This study provides convincing evidence that BPA is dangerous to our health at current levels of human exposure. The new results clearly demonstrate that rodent data on the health effects of BPA are relevant to predictions regarding the health effects of human exposure to BPA. Further evidence of human harm should not be required for regulatory action to reduce human exposure to BPA.”
Furthermore, human exposure to BPA seems to higher than previously thought. It has always been assumed that BPA comes from the plastics that we use in our household. However, the current study results show that these sources alone cannot account for the amount of BPA we are exposed to, indicating that there are unidentified sources of contamination in our environment. The researchers, thus, are calling for “governmental agencies to require the chemical industry to identify all products that contain BPA.
Dr. Pat Hunt, co-author of the study, adds:
“We’ve assumed we’re getting BPA from the ingestion of contaminated food and beverages. This indicates there must be a lot of other ways in which we’re exposed to this chemical and we’re probably exposed to much higher levels than we have assumed.”