According to the findings of new research, the widely used chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) may be more harmful to humans at lower exposure levels than scientists originally thought.
In a study published in the journal Landes Bioscience on November 7, researchers analyzed more than 450 different studies involving BPA exposure, searching for evidence of low-dose effects. Scientists used an integrative biological approach using information from varying study types.
The previous lowest observed level of BPA or adverse effects was recorded at 50/mg/kg/day in studies conducted on mammals. However, the new research found consistent reproductive effects in much lower doses of BPA.
Laura N. Vandenberg and the team of researchers found effects in animals at ten to forty times lower than the current low dose threshold. Several dozen low dose studies were identified as showing effects in humans at levels at which many are exposed to daily.
The studies found associations between low doses of BPA and side effects that include polycystic ovarian syndrome, immune response to allergens, behavioral problems and decreased fertility. A wide range of severe side effects were noted in vitro and in vivo, as well as side effects on wildlife.
Other BPA Concerns
BPA is commonly used to manufacture many consumer plastic products, to make the plastic harder and shatter proof. The chemical is found in plastic water bottles, the lining of aluminum canned goods, toys and other common products used to preserve food. It was originally designed to be an artificial form of estrogen.
It has drawn concern from consumers and advocacy agencies in recent years, as many studies have revealed potentially severe side effects to humans and wildlife.
A study published in March found exposure to BPA during pregnancy may increase a child’s risk of developing asthma. Researchers from Columbia University found a link between high levels of BPA in urine to a higher risk of asthma and wheezing in young children.
Another study published in February 2013 revealed a link between BPA exposure and the proper formation of the human brain. Researchers found the controversial chemical can greatly effect the neurodevelopment of the brain, blocking the development of neurons as they form in the brain.
Much like the side effects revealed in the recent study, many other studies have also found a link between BPA and fertility side effects. A study conducted by researchers from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital found BPA may have a direct effect on the maturation of eggs in humans. The link may cause many infertility problems for many women in the United States.
More recently, a study published only last month found a link between BPA and an increased risk of miscarriage among pregnant women. Researchers found women who have difficulty getting pregnant are more prone to miscarriage when exposed to the chemical.
BPA is often found at some level in every American’s urine. Nearly 90% of the children tested at Columbia University had some level of BPA concentrations in their urine.
Use of BPA was banned from many children’s products and certain food packaging in several European countries. Only last year, the FDA banned BPA from being used in baby products, but maintained the view that BPA does not pose a risk to consumers.