Why Plastics Can Make You Sick
April 27, 2005
A controversy regarding the safety of low-dose effects of bisphenol
A (BPA), a chemical used to make hard, clear plastics such as those
found in baby bottles, food-storage containers and the lining of
soda cans, has reached the forefront in America.
Each year, over 6 billion tons of BPA are used to make polycarbonate
plastics. Chemical bonds that BPA forms in plastic can unravel when
heated, washed or exposed to acidic foods, prompting the chemical
to contaminate foods. And while the plastic industry fails to see
the need for alarm regarding the health impact of this chemical,
researchers with no ties to the industry beg to differ.
Your body is extremely sensitive to sex hormones, and miniscule
amounts can induce profound changes. Therefore, since BPA imitates
the sex hormone estradiol, scientists are afraid even low levels
of BPA could have a negative impact. Moreover, there is evidence
(among mice and rats) low doses of BPA can cause:
- Early puberty
- Increased fat formation
- Abnormal sexual behavior
- Disrupted reproductive cycles
- Structural damage to the brain
Of the 115 published studies researchers reviewed on the low-dose
effects of BPA, 94 of them reported harmful effects on mice and
rats; 21 did not.
Coincidentally, none of the 11 studies funded by chemical companies
found harmful effects caused by BPA, which the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention has reported is detected in 95 percent of
all patients tested. On the other hand, more than 90 percent of
the studies conducted by scientists not associated with the chemical
industry [text in blue] discovered negative consequences.
Today April 14, 2005