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Scientists warn – Dangerous chemical found in plastic

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An estrogen-like compound widely used in plastic products is believed to be the cause of serious reproductive harm, according to a press release from dozens of scientists, including four from federal health agencies.

The compound, bisphenol A (BPA), is one of the most widely produced chemicals in the world, and almost everyone has traces – or more – of it in their body.

After looking at around 700 studies, scientists concluded that people are exposed to higher levels of BPA than those that harmed lab animals. Among the most vulnerable are infants and fetuses, which are still developing.

BPA is used to make hard plastic used in many products, including:

  • Polycarbonate plastic bottles
  • Large containers and sports bottles
  • Microwave meals
  • Liners for preserves
  • Certain children’s dental sealants

The statement appeared alongside five accompanying scientific journals and a new study from the National Institutes of Health that found newborns exposed to BPA suffered from uterine damage. The damage could indicate that the chemical is causing reproductive disorders in women ranging from fibroids to endometriosis to cancer.

Although studies have not yet been conducted to directly examine the influence of BPA on humans, previous animal studies have shown that low doses of the chemical are associated with prostate cancers and *** at an early stage and a decrease in the number of sperm.

No government agency in the world has restricted the use of BPA, but a US panel of experts is meeting to discuss whether the chemical should be declared a toxin for human reproduction, which could lead to regulatory action.

The chemical industry maintains that BPA is safe and has called the scientists’ statement “alarmist and biased.”

Reproductive Toxicology July 2007

Seattle Times August 3, 2007


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