High Levels Of BPA Exposure Linked To Increased Mortality Risk

Exposure to high levels of the controversial chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA), which is commonly used to make plastic bottles and many other consumer products, has been linked to a variety of health concerns, including a potential increased risk of premature death, according to the findings of a new study.

In findings published this week in the medical journal JAMA Network Open, University of Iowa researchers warn that high levels of BPA exposure increases the risk of all-cause mortality by nearly 50%.

Researchers conducted a cohort study involving 3,800 adults in the United States, ages 20 years and older. Participants were part of the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2003 to 2008 and provided urine samples for BPA level measurements.

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Participants with higher urinary BPA levels had a higher risk of death during the 10 years of observation. Those with the highest concentrations of urinary BPA had a 49% higher risk of death than participants with the lowest levels of urinary BPA.

Higher concentrations of BPA was also linked to a 46% increased risk for cardiovascular disease death, but due to the small overall numbers involved, the researchers deemed the finding not statistically significant.

“In this nationally representative cohort of US adults, higher BPA exposure was significantly associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality,” the researchers concluded. “Further studies are needed to replicate these findings in other populations and determine the underlying mechanisms.”

BPA Health Concerns

BPA is a plasticizer chemical that is ubiquitous in the environment. The level of high-volume industrial production has resulted in the chemical being detected in 90% of the population.

BPA is used to manufacture many consumer plastic products. It is used in the lining of canned food, water and soft drink bottles, cash register receipts, and many other products. More so, it is not filtered out in water treatment facilities, offering the chemical directly to consumer homes.

Research has shown BPA is an endocrine disruptor and can affect how the hormones function in the human body. Exposure can lead to high blood pressure, infertility, and some cancers.

Other researcher has suggested exposure during pregnancy can affect brain development in the fetus and lead to permanent genetic changes. Negative side effects are even seen at low doses, once thought to be “safe” for human consumption.

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