Ironic, isn’t it? As the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds its hearing on the safety of bisphenol A (BPA) today, a major new study involving humans (not animals) finds exposure to BPA increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. So, finally, we have research suggesting that adverse health effects in humans occur as a result of exposure to BPA, the key monomer of polycarbonate plastic. As the FDA debates whether BPA is safe. I’m anxious to hear what happens at the FDA’s meeting. Eager even. I wish I could be there. So, yes, I’m a green geek.
As you probably know, low level exposure to BPA has been linked to a host of health problems in laboratory animals, including disrupting hormones. We are exposed to BPA from leaching of epoxy resin linings present in almost all canned food and beverages, and leaching from polycarbonate plastic, including baby bottles. In fact, 93% of us have BPA in our systems, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) recently issued its final report finding “some concern” (a 3 on the NTP’s 5 point scale) for current human exposures to BPA and effects on brain, behavior and the prostate. Yet, the FDA continues to maintain that BPA is safe, having issued a draft reporting asserting such. Today the FDA is holding a hearing to discuss its draft report, and many scientists and organizations critical of the FDA’s reliance on industry-supported, non peer reviewed studies are expected to comment. It should be interesting, to say the least. Well, at least if you are a green geek. Being one, I really wish I could be there to hear the robust scientific debate.
At the same time, today a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that higher concentrations of BPA in urine were associated with higher rates of heart disease and diabetes. Also, the survey of 1,455 US adults tested found a lnk between abnormal liver enzymes in people and BPA. Basically, this major new study involving humans finds a significant relationship between BPA urine concentrations and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities.
This major new study provides human data to support the animal studies which find evidence of harm to exposure to BPA. However, already, the plastics industry has criticized this new study, contending that the study is flawed.
In any event, the outcome of the FDA’s hearing should be interesting. In the interim, I’ll continue to be safe rather than sorry, and avoid BPA exposure. How to do that? Try these Simple Steps.