BPA – Biphenol A

First, I have not been following this story closely, but from what I understand Canada has declared BPA a “dangerous substance”.  BPA is present in many plastics — meaning baby bottles, water bottles (really popular Nalgene ones — but that is changing), food containers, etc.   Anyway I figure since there are a lot of parents who might read this blog out there and since this was a topic of discussion at my workplace, I thought I’d post here.  More below the fold if you are interested.

the story:

from US News and World Report: Study of Chemical in Plastic Bottles Raises Alarm

and the NY Times: Canada Likely to Label Plastic Ingredient ‘Toxic’

According to WebMD (from 2003):

A chemical used in plastic baby bottles — and many other food and beverage containers — causes genetic damage in mice, a new study suggests. But the plastics industry says there is no cause for alarm.

The damage is seen in egg cells of female mice. When these cells try to divide, their chromosomes don’t line up right. In humans this results in spontaneous abortion, birth defects, or mental retardation, says genetic abnormalities expert Patricia A. Hunt, PhD, of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

In studies published in the April issue of the journal Current Biology, Hunt and colleagues showed that very low doses of a common plastics ingredient may cause these effects. They also found that dangerous amounts of the chemical — known as BPA — can seep out of used plastic bottles.

And from the National Geographic Green Guide on Plastics:

A growing number of scientists are concluding, from animal tests, that exposure to BPA in the womb raises the risk of certain cancers, hampers fertility and could contribute to childhood behavioral problems such as hyperactivity. A January 2006 EHP study on mice indicated that BPA alters the function of mouse pancreatic cells, which produce insulin, suggesting that the chemical may enhance the risk of developing Type II diabetes. Finally, an early 2007 study on BPA in rats found that it led to increased growth, suggesting that the chemical might trigger obesity.

More info at the Z Recommends website: Catching up on BPA

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