Plastic Bottle Chemical BPA Does Enter Body According to Study

Researchers have discovered more evidence that the plastic bottle chemical bisphenol A (BPA), which is used to make many plastic products hard and shatterproof, could pose a risk to humans, as it can leach into the body from plastic drinking bottles.

BPA is used in a number of different consumer products, such as bottles, cups, soda can linings and food containers.

In recent years, concerns have surfaced that the chemical may accumulate in the body over a long period of time, potentially resulting in developmental abnormalities and other problems, especially among young children who can not eliminate BPA fast enough to prevent toxicity.

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The new study, conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, is likely to add additional fuel to the recent calls for a ban on the use of BPA in baby products like baby bottles and plastic sippy cups. Researchers found that regular consumption from bottles made with the chemical can result in increased BPA levels in human urine, confirming that BPA is absorbed by the body from the bottles.

According to the Harvard study, published this month in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, “Regular consumption of cold beverages from polycarbonate bottles is associated with a substantial increase in urinary BPA concentrations irrespective of exposure to BPA from other sources.” The report’s findings suggest that drinking from plastic bottles made with the chemical can increase the amount of BPA in the body by 69 percent.

Although the FDA has previously indicated that levels of BPA in consumer products are safe, even for infants and children, an independent panel of advisors to the FDA convened in October 2008 suggested that the agency’s position was flawed because it does not consider evidence from all available and credible sources.

A May 16 report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal indicated that the FDA relied heavily on chemical industry lobbyists for its information about BPA and noted that that the FDA used two industry-funded studies as the basis for their determination on BPA safety. In December 2008, the FDA indicated that they are reviewing additional information, but no regulatory actions have yet been taken to limit use of the plastic bottle chemical.

Legislators in many states have started movements to ban BPA, and U.S Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has introduced legislation to ban BPA in infant products throughout the United States. Canada banned the use of BPA in baby bottles in April 2008.

Although the FDA has defended the safety of BPA and indicated that it is safe to use in baby products, many retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Toys “R” Us have already stopped selling any baby bottles that contain the BPA chemical, and many of the largest manufacturers of baby bottles, such as Avent, Evenflo, Disney First Years, Platex, Gerber and Dr. Brown, have volutarily agreed to stop making BPA baby bottles.

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