A chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA), which is used in the process of manufacturing plastic bottles and also as a lining in canned products is under scrutiny as a new study states that it’s an endocrine disruptor. It interferes with the hormonal activities in the body. Study on animals has revealed that this can cause long-term health hazards such as altered sexual development and brain impairments. The new study focused on health impacts on adults, who have been drinking liquids from bottles and cans which have a lining of BPA. Per its website, FDA updated its perspective on BPA last year and now clearly states that BPA is safe at the low levels consumers are exposed to.
“This study does reinforce growing concerns about the ubiquitous presence of this chemical and whether we need to rethink many of the applications in which it is used,” says Patricia Hunt, an expert on BPA at Washington State University who wasn’t involved in the research. “It’s rather like lining the inside of food and beverage containers with pharmaceuticals, isn’t it?”
In the study, researchers had 60 participants. They were made to drink soy milk from cans which had BPA lining, and also from glass bottles, which had no BPA lining. After two hours of consumption, researchers measured their blood pressure and vital signs, and sampled their urine to see how much BPA came out. They found out that the urine people who drank from BPA lined cans contained chemicals, which was 16 times more than those who drank from glass bottles. The ones who consumed two cans, even had higher blood pressure than the rest. The study was published in journal Hypertension.
General assumptions in the past assert that effects of BPA can only be seen after a long term, that too after continuous exposure. But the new study specified that the chemical not only made it into their bodies but seems to have caused a significant increase in blood pressure.
The American Chemistry Council(ACC) wrote to the Westside story, which stated the following:
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) offers the following comments regarding a study published today by Sanghyuk Bae and Yun-Chul Hongl in the American Heart Association journal, Hypertension, entitled “Exposure to Bisphenol A From Drinking Canned Beverage Increases Blood Pressure.” Quotes from the following may be attributed to Steven G. Hentges, Ph.D. of ACC’s Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group.
“This study’s claim that BPA, which is safely used in can linings to protect food and beverages from contamination, ‘may pose a substantial health risk’ is a gross overstatement of the findings, an incredible disservice to public health, and runs contrary to years of research by government scientists.
“The authors’ conclusions from this small-scale study significantly over-interpret the data measured in the study. As reported by the authors, there were no statistically significant differences in the primary blood pressure measurements of the three treatment groups, whether participants drank soy milk from glass bottles or cans.
“Additionally, the promotional materials that accompanied the study suggested that exposure to BPA from drinking any canned beverage can increase blood pressure. These statements are not supported by the study’s findings and will inappropriately alarm consumers. The study only examined soy milk, which is not at all representative of all canned beverages.
“As noted by the authors, blood pressure is believed to be controlled by estrogen receptors and it is well-known that soy milk naturally contains variable levels of estrogenic substances. Accordingly, the use of soy milk in the study confounds the results. BPA is only weakly estrogenic and trace levels of BPA in the diet have been shown to be far too low to cause any estrogenic effects. Slight differences in blood pressure reported in the study may be due to the soy milk itself, but are not likely related to trace levels of BPA.
“Many government bodies around the world have evaluated the scientific evidence on BPA and have clearly stated that BPA is safe as used in food contact materials. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), responded last year to the question, ‘Is BPA safe?’ with one unambiguous word: ‘Yes.’ Supporting this clear conclusion is one of the largest studies ever conducted on BPA, which was published by FDA researchers early this year. One of the lead FDA researchers commented that the results of this comprehensive subchronic toxicity study ‘both support and extend the conclusion from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that BPA is safe as currently used.’
“Research funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and conducted by scientists at FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the government’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, (Teeguarden et al.) found that, because of the way BPA is processed in the body, it is very unlikely that BPA could cause health effects at any realistic exposure level.”