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BPA More Dangerous Than Predicted


New reports about the health hazards of bisphenol A (BPA) are seen often in the media, and researchers at the University of Missouri have yet another one to share. They have discovered that human exposure to BPA is much greater than some previous reports stated and that it is likely coming from many yet-unidentified sources, making BPA more dangerous to health than predicted.

BPA Poses Great Risks to Human Health

A growing body of evidence points to the harm BPA can inflict on human health. Studies show that the synthetic chemical, which is found in a wide range of consumer products from plastic food containers to dental sealants, cash register receipts, and canned foods, can have a negative impact on men’s sexual function, including erectile dysfunction.

Exposure to BPA by pregnant women can affect the fertility of their children, and at least one study has found that female children born to women who had contact with BPA during pregnancy tend to be more aggressive and hyperactive. BPA has also been associated with an increased risk of asthma among children and heart disease.

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In the new report, authored by researchers at the University of Missouri Division of Biological Sciences, Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab, and the department of Biomedical Sciences, along with scientists at the University of California-Davis and Washington State University, there is “convincing evidence that BPA is dangerous to our health at current levels of human exposure,” according to Frederick vom Saal, Curators’ professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri.

Based on the data gathered from their rodent studies, he and his colleagues believe that “the health effects of BPA are relevant to predictions regarding the health effects of human exposure to BPA,” and that “further evidence of human harm should not be required for regulatory action to reduce human exposure to BPA.”

The researchers suggest that their findings are sufficient for government agencies to take steps that require the chemical industry to identify all products that contain BPA. While BPA manufacturers have long argued that the chemical is safe, “we know that BPA leaches out of products that contain it, and that it acts like estrogen in the body,” notes Julia Taylor, lead author and associate research professor at the University of Missouri.

Just how dangerous BPA is to human health continues to be uncovered, and this latest study adds to the growing evidence. Some states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Washington, have passed bills to reduce human exposure to BPA, and federal legislation (HR 1523) has been introduced to Congress that would ban BPA from food and beverage containers. Until then, consumers can only try to avoid BPA in the products known to contain the toxin.

University of Missouri news release