BPA is bad for you
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Male, 63 years
Member since Aug 2008
, Oct 01, 2008 11:06AM
BPA is bad for you.
There. I'll go out on a limb and just say it.
Your turn, FDA.
Less than perfect
In a perfect world we wouldn't do things backwards.
In a perfect world the first person to smoke tobacco might wonder: "Could inhaling smoke into my lungs hurt me?" And then, before going ahead to create a massive, international industry, he would conduct some tests to see if smoking might be a highly addictive habit that shortens life in the most hideous ways.
But that's not our style.
Here in Real World, scientists first synthesized bisphenol A (BPA) in the late 1800s. About 40 years later it was found to have estrogenic properties. A few years later, scientists figured ways to use BPA in making plastic containers and resins that now line most food and soft drink cans.
But…uh oh…BPA polymer decays over time, so traces of the synthetic estrogen are released into canned foods and baby formula in plastic bottles. (BPA is also used to make pacifiers, plastic forks and spoons, plastic bowls, etc.)
By the time researchers started studying the effects of BPA on animals, use of the chemical was in full swing. And wouldn't you know it – the animal tests suggested that BPA might not be real healthy. In fact, it might be real unhealthy, prompting reproductive and hormone-related problems.
But those results were in a bunch of mice. What about humans?
This past summer, FDA officials handed down their judgment: No problem! Let the BPA good times roll!
But the party came to a sudden halt last month when a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study concluded that high urinary BPA concentrations might be linked to increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and abnormal concentrations of liver enzymes. (According to a Columbia University scientist, more than 90 percent of Americans have detectable levels of BPA in their urine.)
One doctor told ABC News: "If this does not close the door on the use of BPA in consumer products, I don't know what will."
Here's a more reliable take, from a JAMA editorial: "One factor that may be contributing to the refusal of regulatory agencies to take action on BPA in the face of overwhelming evidence of harm from animal studies…is an aggressive disinformation campaign using techniques ('manufactured doubt') first developed by the lead, vinyl, and tobacco industries to challenge the reliability of findings published by independent scientists."
And that's reality. And that's why the FDA will do nothing at all to protect the public from the use of BPA. There's just too much money involved.
So forget about the FDA riding to the rescue. This one is up to us. What's needed now is some Water Cooler Regulation. That is: Spread the word. Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your coworkers – BPA is bad stuff.
Parents can find information about alternatives to BPA products for infants and younger kids at these websites: thesoftlanding.com, and zrecommends.com.
And everyone can steer clear of BPA by avoiding as many foods as possible that come in cans and plastic containers. I know, that's a tall order. But as a heart doctor told ABC News, the highly processed foods that are packaged in those containers are probably actually worse for the heart than BPA.