Industrial Chemical Causes Male Sexual Dysfunction. The industrial chemical, bisphenol A—BPA—has been making news in recent months over its connection to a wide variety of adverse health events, a worrisome issue given the chemical’s overwhelming ubiquity.
We have long noted that 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.
Now, the Washington Post is reporting that high levels of exposure to BPA seems to be linked to erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems in males, citing a study published today. The government-funded study appears in the journal Human Reproduction and is, said the Washington Post, the first of its kind to look at the connection between BPA and the human male reproductive system; prior studies looked at rodent reactions to the chemical.
Developed in the 1930s as an estrogenic mimicker, BPA appears to wreak havoc on the body’s’ endocrine system
Chemicals Adverse Effects
In urine tests, BPA is found in the overwhelming majority of Americans, more than 93 percent. Despite this, industry has long argued 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 health effects. The industry group, American Chemistry Council, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also maintain current levels are safe, said FoxNews, previously. New FDA guidelines are expected, as we have been writing, at month’s end.
The research looked at 634 men who work at four Chinese factories and who were also exposed to increased BPA levels, the men were followed for over five years and findings were compared with those of men who worked at other factories in China in which there was no evidence of BPA, reported the Washington Post. The research found that the men exposed to BPA suffered a four-fold increased rate of erectile dysfunction and a seven-fold increased rate of ejaculation difficulties, according to De-Kun Li, a scientist at the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute, which conducted the study with funds from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, said the Washington Post.
The problems, surprisingly, did not occur after years, but was evident in a matter of months, said Li. The workers’ exposure levels to the chemical were 50 times greater than levels seen in the United States. “This was a highly exposed group, and we see the effect,” Li said, quoted the Washington Post. “Now, we have to worry about lower-level exposure,” Li added.
Significantly, the findings confirm prior studies that were criticized for being conducted on lab animals and on which proponents of BPA have relied to minimize the chemical’s negative effects. “Critics dismissed all the animal studies, saying, ‘Show us the human studies,’ ” Li said. “Now we have a human study, and this can’t just be dismissed,” according to the Washington Post.