Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

19 September 2012

Recent Studies Reveal BPA May Affect Future Generations (and It's Used in Cell Phone, iPad and Laptop Computer Casings)

POST REPUBLISHED due to latest findings connecting obesity to BPA:

The following article was published as an Alert from the People’s Pharmacy on 15 June 2012. Exposure to BPA may affect not only the next generation but possible future generations as well. The chemical substance may also predispose one to breast cancer. Among many other products, BPA is used in the plastic casings of laptop computers and cell phones to make the plastic durable and shatter-proof.  For example, one iPad case, while reducing 3G transmission power by up to 75% and thus users' exposure to electromagnetic (EM) radiation, is made of Lexan which contains BPA. So, the choice is either exposure to EM radiation or BPA!  (Ref: Printage: "BPA in Pong Cell Phones and iPad Cases") . Refer also to the page on BPA from the site, "EverydayExposures" which defines BPA and its effects on the human body.) 

Article from the People’s Pharmacy

It's bad enough when exposure to a potential toxin affects the person who is exposed. It's even more worrisome when exposure to a chemical affects not only the next generation but possibly future generations as well. That could well be the case with the ubiquitous chemical BPA (bisphenol A).

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have demonstrated that when female mice were exposed to levels of BPA before and during pregnancy, their offspring experienced measurable behavioral and neuronal changes. Bad enough, right? But the genetic changes were detectable in the second, third and even the fourth generation. The research was published in the journal Endocrinology (June 15, 2012)

The offspring of mice exposed to low levels of BPA can demonstrate impairment in cognitive function, aggressive behavior and anxiety. Studies in humans also suggest that prenatal exposure to this chemical may lead to hyperactivity, aggression, depression and anxiety in children.

The BPA doses in the University of Virginia study were not particularly high. The levels were comparable to those that humans experience on a daily basis. The authors of the research point out that human exposure to BPA is widespread and that 90% of us have detectable amounts of BPA in our urine on any given day.

Where does the BPA come from? Perhaps you thought the problems were solved when most manufacturers of water and baby bottles voluntarily removed BPA from the plastic they used to manufacture their unbreakable products. Au contraire. BPA is still found in many plastic products. It is also used in the resin that lines most of our food and beverage cans, including those used for soup, vegetables, beer and soft drinks. If you use canned tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce, chances are pretty good that you are getting a dose of BPA. Drink beer from a can and you can assume BPA is swallowed along with the suds. Pick up a receipt the next time you buy anything and there is a likelihood your fingers will be coated with BPA from the paper. Eat a sandwich or munch some chips after that, and your fingers are likely to transfer the BPA directly to your food.

If the mouse research is relevant to humans, our grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren could be affected by the BPA our daughters are consuming today. Even if we were to ban BPA tomorrow, the potential complications of today's exposure could last for generations.

It's not just their brains that could be affected. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrated that macaque monkeys exposed to BPA in utero had changes in their mammary glands. The tissues in exposed animals were denser, leading researchers to predict that BPA may predispose animals to breast cancer. This primate study reinforces previous concerns from rodent studies.

Despite growing evidence that low-level exposure to BPA could have serious and long-lasting health affects on humans, the Food and Drug Administration has concluded that the evidence of harm is not compelling enough to take any regulatory action. As a result there will be no restrictions on BPA in food packaging for the foreseeable future.

What are we to do? Given uncertainty about the safety of BPA we think the precautionary principle makes the most sense. That is why Japanese regulators required food manufacturers to remove BPA from the lining of food cans. Until the FDA follows a similar path, here are some steps you can follow:

• Use glass whenever possible instead of plastic to store food and beverages
• Try not to handle paper cash register receipts. Don't store them in your wallet or pocketbook.
• Any woman who is pregnant or might become pregnant should avoid food and beverages stored in metal cans unless there is a clear statement that the lining is BPA free.
• Young children should be protected from BPA as much as possible.

Implications of the latest research.

The authors conclude that:
"Because exposure to BPA changes social interactions at a dose within the reported human levels, it is possible that this compound has transgenerational actions on human behavior."

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