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BPA Study Finds Chemical in Majority of Newborns

Dec 4, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP
Childhood Lead Poisoning

Childhood Lead Poisoning

We have been following the issues surrounding bisphenol A—BPA—for quite some time now, and have been writing columns problems associated with this toxin almost every week for many months. Now, sadly, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel (JSOnline) is reporting that a study released this week revealed that most babies—nine of 10—were born with the industrial chemical in their systems.

Developed in the 1930s, the estrogenic mimicker appears to wreak havoc on the body’s’ endocrine system. Today, in urine tests, BPA is found in the overwhelming majority of Americans, more than 93 percent. To also be found in the majority of newborns, is worrisome, at best.

BPA has been connected to increased risks of brain, reproductive, cardiac, and immune system diseases and disorders; problems with liver function testing; interruptions in chemotherapy treatment; and links with serious health problems. Studies have overwhelmingly found BPA to have negative effects at doses lower than current FDA standards; retention in the body longer than was previously believed; leeching into liquids being held in containers regardless of the containers’ temperature; and longer lasting damage, which some feel can be passed to future generations. Recent reports link high levels of exposure to BPA to erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems in males.

The recent study was commissioned by the Environmental Working Group, said JSOnline, which noted that scientists randomly selected samples of umbilical cord blood to test for the chemical. This is the first such test that looked at newborn cord blood, said JSOnline. "It's alarming," Janet Gray, director of the Environmental Risks and Breast Cancer project at Vassar College, said of the study results, quoted JSOnline. "What more evidence do we need to act?"

Adverse Health Effects Found In Some Chemicals

The estrogenic, industrial chemical, a polycarbonate plastic byproduct, is not only of concern over its connection to a wide variety of adverse health events, but also because of the chemical’s overwhelming and growing ubiquity. BPA can be found in everything from baby bottles; sippy cup: water bottles; aluminum can linings; eyeglasses; cars; DVD and CD cases; some dental sealants; appliances; windshields; and—most recently—common paper receipts, to name just some. On recyclable bottles, BPA, as a component, can be verified if the item contains recycling number 7.

BPA recently made JSOnline news when it reported that the U.S. government was stalling its study of BPA’s effects; the outlet accused the FDA of endangering consumer health because of its delays on releasing a ruling. The decision, according to Agency officials, said JSOnline, is due within the next two weeks.

Industry argues that scientists and consumer advocates exaggerate the chemical’s adverse effects, continually citing two industry studies; however, at last count, over 900 peer-reviewed studies found links between BPA and adverse health effects. The FDA has maintained that BPA was safe, basing its finding on these two studies; however, noted JSOnline, the agency’s science board recommended it had not looked at enough of the studies and began its review, setting the now-missed November 30th deadline.

The Toxic Substances Control Act, passed in 1976, was meant to allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban toxic chemicals; however, no substance—including asbestos—has yet been banned, said JSOnline. Evidently, loopholes have enabled industry to keep details about chemicals, including chemical names, from being released.

Many states and municipalities have passed laws banning BPA from certain products, especially children’s products. Now, the Wisconsin Assembly is set to meet next Wednesday morning (10:45 am in the State Capitol, Room 300 NE) to discuss a proposed ban, said JSOnline.

Need Legal Help Regarding Childhood Lead Poisoning?

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