Tag Archives | BPA

Health Dangers of Plastics: BPA, Phthalate Exposure May Cause Fertility Problems

PlasticBottlesAnyone who saw the documentary Tapped knows that ingesting BPAs and phtalates is hazardous to your health. CNN reports on yet another study highlighting the risks, this one suggesting fertility problems:

If you’re having trouble getting pregnant or have suffered a miscarriage, some common household products may be partly to blame, new research suggests.

This week, scientists at the annual conference of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine in Boston are presenting research linking chemical compounds in our environment to fertility issues. In several different studies, researchers met with healthy couples who were trying to have a baby and tested them for BPA and phthalates.

BPA stands for Bisphenol A, a chemical used to make certain plastics and resins that are used in containers. BPA is also used in the coating of metal products, such as food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

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France To Ban Food Packaging Containing BPA

Luckily here in America we still have the freedom to unknowingly drink from hormone-disrupting soda bottles. AFP reports:

The French parliament voted Thursday to ban the use of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical thought to have a toxic effect on the brain and nervous system, in baby food packaging next year and all food containers in 2015.

The chemical is used in “polycarbonate” types of hard plastic bottles and as a protective lining in food and beverage cans. It became a concern following evidence in lab animals of a toxic effect on the brain and nervous system. Some studies have found a link between exposure to BPA and coronary heart disease and reproductive disorders.

Several countries have introduced voluntary measures or laws to stop the manufacture of baby bottles with BPA and published guidelines on safer use of the containers. In June 2010, the French parliament banned BPA-containing baby bottles.

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BPA From Plastics, Food Packaging, Linked To Obesity

Americans may be growing fat not only from the foods we eat, but from the hormone-disrupting materials in which those foods are given to us. Via the Smithsonian:

Since the 1960s, manufacturers have widely used the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) in plastics and food packaging. A study by researchers from New York University, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at a sample of nearly 3,000 children and teens across the country and found a “significant” link between the amount of BPA in their urine and the prevalence of obesity.

The researchers speculate on a possible underlying mechanism, alluding to other studies that have shown that the chemical may disrupt mechanisms of human metabolism in ways that increase body mass. They also note studies that have revealed associations between urinary levels of BPA and incidences of adult diabetes, cardiovascular disease and abnormal liver function.

The vast majority of BPA in our bodies comes from ingestion of contaminated food and water.

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Think Plastic Bottles Are Toxic? Try Canned Food

Here at disinformation we long ago dispensed with plastic water bottles in the wake of our film Tapped, but now it seems that canned foods are way more dangerous in terms of their delivery of BPAs into our bodies. Via CBS News:

Talk about stirring up controversy. A new study shows that the urine of people who consume canned soup can contain surprisingly high levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a hormone-disrupting compound linked to health problems including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

People who consumed one serving of canned soup a day for five days had a more than 1,000 percent increase in urinary BPA over people who consumed fresh soup for five days, the study showed.

“We’ve known for a while that drinking beverages that have been stored in certain hard plastics can increase…

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Plastic Bottles Can Ruin Your Sperm

PlasticBottlesFor all you macho men who couldn’t give a crap about your carbon footprint, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and other problems associated with bottled water, maybe this will help you get off the bottle: BPAs, one of the toxins in plastic bottled water, can seriously lower your sperm count. Oh, and also BPAs can cause erectile dysfunction. Still want to drink from plastic bottles? From CNN:

Exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA), a controversial chemical found in hard, clear plastics, is thought to increase the risk of birth defects, early puberty, obesity, brain damage, and some forms of cancer.

Add another potential problem to the list: A new study of Chinese factory workers suggests that very high levels of BPA exposure may decrease sperm count and contribute to other sperm-related problems in men.

The findings aren’t surprising. BPA—which can be found in some baby bottles and water bottles, as well the linings of food and beverage cans—is known to be a so-called endocrine disruptor that functions “like a weak estrogen” and blocks male sex hormones (including testosterone), says the lead author of the study, De-Kun Li, M.D., a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente’s division of research, in Oakland, California.

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Canada Declares BPA Toxic. Is the U.S. Next?

3D chemical structure of bisphenol A. Author: Edgar181

3D chemical structure of bisphenol A. Author: Edgar181

Bryan Walsh writing for the Ecocentric Blog at Time Magazine:

It’s used almost everywhere. It’s in almost all of us. It does weird things to rodents and it may be doing weird things to us—but it’s tough to be certain. Bisphenol-A (BPA) has become a litmus test for how people view environmental health and the risks of common household chemicals—as I wrote in a long story for TIME earlier this year. The chemical has countless industrial uses, most often in the epoxy liner of cans and in plastic bottles. But BPA is also an endocrine disruptor, meaning that it has the capacity to mess with our hormones and potentially impact health—especially in developing fetuses—even at relatively low doses. (Because they can mimic hormones—which cause enormous changes in our bodies even at relatively low amounts—the dose-response relationship used to evaluate traditional toxins like lead may not work with BPA.)

Green advocates like the Environmental Working Group have pushed hard to restrict and even ban BPA, citing the potential risk to human health, while industry groups like American Chemistry Council have fought tooth and nail to keep the chemical in use, casting doubt on the animal studies that have shown harm from BPA.

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An Overlooked Source Of Hormone-Altering Bisphenol-A? Paper Receipts

20100430-boxWhen you’re handed a receipt at a drug store or supermarket, you might be accepting more than you wish: scientists have announced that about half of paper receipts from stores and ATMs are coated with bisphenol-A, a chemical which affects the endocrine system, contributing to reproductive problems and cancer. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able buy groceries without risking an involuntary sex change? The Washington Post reports:

The Environmental Working Group found BPA on 40 percent of the receipts it collected from supermarkets, automated teller machines, gas stations and chain stores. In some cases, the total amount of BPA on the receipt was 1,000 times the amount found in the epoxy lining of a can of food, another controversial use of the chemical.

Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst with the environmental group, says BPA’s prevalence on receipts could help explain why the chemical can be detected in the urine of an estimated 93 percent of Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Outlawing Bottled Water

For those paying attention, calls for removal of plastics from our food and water and elsewhere in our household and workplace environments have been getting a whole lot louder recently and will receive worldwide attention during World Water Week in September. For those who liked Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff, she’s made a new film, The Story of Bottled Water:

The message is starting to go mainstream. TIME Magazine recently highlighted “The Perils of Plastic.” Here’s what they have to say about Bisphenol A (BPA), the type of plastic used to bottle water:

What It Is: A chemical used in plastic production

Found In: Water bottles, baby bottles, plastic wraps, food packaging

Health Hazards: The government’s National Toxicology Program has concluded that there is some concern about brain and behavioral effects…

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