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BPA Clearly Linked to Diabetes and Heart Disease

Jan 15, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP, LLP Certain populations with higher BPA levels in their bodies are at an increased risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. recently reported on a first-of-its-kind, sweeping study that looked at the relationship between Bisphenol A (BPA) and certain groups.

Research lead, Iain Lang, and colleagues found that adults with higher levels of urinary BPA were at a 39 percent increased risk for diabetes and a 28 to 40 percent increased risk for cardiovascular disease, said LivingtheScience.  Cardiovascular disease involved angina, coronary heart disease, or a history of a heart attack.

BPA, a ubiquitous, estrogen-mimicking chemical has been linked to a variety of diseases including an increased risk of diseases or disorders of the brain, reproductive, and immune systems; recent studies have linked BPA exposure to problems with liver function testing, and interruptions in chemotherapy treatment; and BPA exposure has long been linked to hormonal disturbances.  BPA was also linked to serious health problems based on 130 studies conducted in the past 10 years, The Washington Post reported late last year, and newer research found BPA to have negative effects at “very low doses,” lower than the FDA’s safety standards currently in place.  

The National Toxicology Program, an arm of the National Institutes of Health also announced that there is “some concern” BPA “may affect the brain and behavioral development of fetuses, infants, and young children” and Dow Jones added that BPA has also been linked to prostate cancer, male genital defects, and early female puberty, adding that experts say the FDA should never have ignored the scientific evidence pointing to BPA’s harm to humans.

In addition to being commonly found in plastic baby bottles and food can linings, BPA is found in CD cases, eye glasses, dental sealants, and water bottles, to name some.  LivingtheScience also noted that BPA is a “high production” chemical that is also used in plastic and epoxy resins.

Research derived from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed the overwhelming majority of Americans—nine out of 10—test with detectable BPA levels.  For that study, urinary BPA was analyzed in 1,455 people aged 18 to 74, said LivingtheScience, which noted that after adjusting for markers such as “age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, income, body mass index, and waist circumference, the results were maintained.

Experts believe BPA enters the body through food and drink containers; the chemical has long been at the root of an ongoing controversy regarding its presence in baby bottles and other children’s products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its original report on BPA this summer—deeming BPA levels in plastic baby bottles and canned foods to be safe—and was roundly criticized by the scientific community and consumer advocacy groups for relying on two studies funded by the chemical industry.  After months of criticism, the FDA announced in December that it is finally reviewing its draft assessment on BPA, Dow Jones reported.  Now, the FDA is reportedly reconsidering hundreds of independent research studies pointing to BPA’s harms and that, at currently approved levels, BPA is not safe.

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