Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

More on Bisphenol A

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This post has excellent information on what’s going on now and why Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is on the case and writing to the FDA to get more information. I strongly urge you to read this one. It begins:

We’ve discussed the component of plastics bisphenol A (BPA) here before (here, here) but yesterday the Journal of the American Medical Association published a significant paper with an accompanying editorial that deserves mention. A panel of the FDA was scheduled to meet the same day to review FDA’s draft assessment that BPA was not a safety problem in the US food supply and environment. As a result of the JAMA article, the ranking member of the Committee on Finance, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has written to the Commissioner of the FDA asking for a clarification of the FDA’s position on the science underlying a recent NIH review of BPA’s safety together with the names, titles, internal communications and communications with the chemical industry trade association and manufacturers of BPA. Clearly Grassley smells a rat. The precincts of the FDA are already so odorous it’s a wonder a new stink can even be detected. So this one must really reek. Here’s some of the background from the Editorial:

In this issue of JAMA, Lang and colleagues report the results of the first major epidemiologic study to examine the health effects associated with the ubiquitous estrogenic chemical bisphenol A (BPA). This compound is the base chemical (monomer) used to make polycarbonate plastic food and beverage containers, the resin lining of cans, and dental sealants; it also is found in “carbonless” paper used for receipts as well as a wide range of other common household products. Based on their analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004, Lang et al report a significant relationship between urine concentrations of BPA and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and liver-enzyme abnormalities in a representative sample of the adult US population. (vom Saal, F, Myers P in JAMA)

BPA is one of the highest volume chemicals in production worldwide. It has become ubiquitous in the environment, including food and drink, and BPA levels can now be detected in 90% of Americans. BPA also acts like a mimic of the major female sex hormone family, the estrogens. A very large body of animal literature has showed two things: that BPA has biological effects at levels relevant to environmental exposure and similar to natural estrogens (nanomole range); and that in animals it acts through response mechanisms also present in humans. The Lang et al. paper therefore is not surprising. It is pretty much what we would expect to see. On the other hand, the paper is surprising, because looking a representative sample of the US population for common diseases usually involves so much noise you can only see the strongest signals through the static.

The study involved …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

17 September 2008 at 12:51 pm

One Response

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  1. I’ve read at least four articles on BPA today, because I run a promotional products company, and we have seen unusually high interest and traffic for our line of BPA free water bottles over the last two days. The amount of press mentions is astounding, especially since the science is so inconclusive in the sense that it does not appear there has been a causal link yet established between trace level exposure to bisphenol A and any one health condition.

    Notwithstanding this, it only makes sense to seek out better food containers and drinkware which do not contain BPA when possible especially with children, just as a precautionary measure.

    T. Harmon

    17 September 2008 at 9:05 pm

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