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Chemical in Plastic Bottles Damages Monkeys and Human Tissue

Armen Hareyan's picture

A chemical found in hard plastics, like baby bottles and Nalgene-style water bottles, interferes with monkeys’ moods and brain function, a Yale University study has concluded.

The Yale study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, marks the first time the chemical, bisphenol A, has been connected to health problems in primates. In a separate experiment on adult human tissue, researchers from the University of Cincinnati found that low doses of bisphenol A suppressed a hormone that protects against obesity and diabetes.

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Also this week, the National Toxicology Program reaffirmed a draft report citing “some concern” that bisphenol A could cause reproductive and brain development damage in children. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is widely used in food and beverage containers, and small amounts are routinely found in the human body.

An endocrine disruptor that mimics natural hormones, BPA has been shown to cause reproductive problems in rodents. The chemical industry and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, however, maintain BPA’s effects on primates are unproven.

The Yale and Cincinnati studies both found ill effects at doses the EPA deems safe.