A chemical compound found in plastic bottles,cans,containers,dental sealants, and even on receipts is being considered for a federal ban under an amendment of the food safety bill, S. 510. New evidence may be even worse than anyone imagined, a new peer-reviewed study finds. This chemical is bisphenol A (BPA)
Research published on September 20 in Environmental Health Perspectives concludes that the potentially hazardous chemical can enter the human body via multiple routes and is far harder for our bodies to metabolize than previously believed. The new study examined both mice and rhesus monkeys, the latter selected because they are good predictors of how the human body absorbs this type of chemical. Eighteen hours after exposure, the monkeys’ blood still contained active BPA—a finding that suggests we have “grossly underestimated current human exposure levels.”
The latest test results have prompted the Governor of California to ban the use of BPA in plastic manufacturing from a number of products.
What are the UK doing about this matter?
The most recent study indicates that past rodent data may, in fact, be a compelling predictor of how BPA harms humans, now that the effects of BPA have also been observed in rhesus monkeys and shown to harmonize with prior data. If the study’s conclusions are valid, then the effects of BPA may actually be far more serious than anything we feared in the past. It also removes another shred of doubt about BPA’s safety in a debate conflicted with varying methodologies, a great deal of money, and heated emotions.
The velocity of the debate sped up during the last two years. The National Toxicology Program found “some concern” with the chemical in September 2008, a concern mirrored by the FDA this January 2010 and the EPA in March. The scientific progress has been “astounding,” Professor Frederick vom Saal says, and has helped usher in a new paradigm of toxicology, one that works with endocrinologists in entirely new ways. The “total disconnect” between toxicology and endocrinology was, vom Saal explains, how BPA was misclassified as safe. Animal studies have linked BPA to health problems including unusual brain chemistry, obesity, attention disorders, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and premature puberty. A 2008 cross-sectional study with 1,500 humans found a significant correlation between BPA levels in urine and heart disease.
The level of plastic catering disposables and food packaging is on the increase. We are told to recycle plastic for the good of the environment. If this report is as bad as it seems, we should not be using this type of packaging. We need to start thinking about our health as well as the environment.
Are you aware of how much plastic packaging you come in contact with every day? Just one example is that we all like a cup of fresh coffee from our favorite high street outlet. But did you know that a majority of the cardboard takeaway cups are lined with plastic!
We do not have to use plastic products when an alternative is available. The Bioplastic industry is growing. The technology provides eco friendly catering disposables and food packaging made from plants not plastic. These products are free from any such toxins and are environmentally friendly as they are 100% compostable.
Watch this space for updates