Bisphenol A May Cause Diabetes and Obesity
Exotic compounds leaking from plastic may be causing more harm than we ever dreamed. Rumours of sperm count drops in European males linked to pseudoestrogens have been circulating for a few years. Now it looks as if hard evidence is available showing that harm from leaching bisphenol A can harm the unborn.
The information coming out of Washington State is chilling. The work was done on mice, but can easily be applied to other mammals(us!).
Recent experiments in pregnant mice exposed to the purported endocrine disrupting chemical bisphenol A at doses within the range of common human exposures cause chromosomal abnormalities in the eggs of the exposed fetuses. These results are from the laboratory of NIEHS grantee Patricia Hunt at Washington State University.
The exposure to bisphenol A at early stages of development disturbs the growth and division of the eggs in the unborn female fetuses. When the fetuses reach adulthood, the perturbations lead to increases in chromosomally-abnormal eggs and embryos. These findings build on previous work from this laboratory that demonstrated that bisphenol A exposure during later stages of egg development resulted in aneuploidy, an abnormal number of chromosomes. The current work suggests that as many as 40 percent of the eggs and embryos from females exposed to the chemical may be chromosomally abnormal compared to the background rate of less than one percent.
Bisphenol A is a component of polycarbonate plastics, resins that line food and beverage containers, and additives in a variety of consumer products. Humans are exposed to trace amounts of it by eating or drinking products stored in these plastics. Other human health effects that have been associated with bisphenol A exposure include a variety of reproductive effects in males and females, increased susceptibility to prostate cancer, alterations in mammary gland organization, and neurological development. Emerging research is beginning to link it with the prevalence of obesity and other endocrine disorders.
Citation: Susiarjo M, Hassold TJ, Freeman E, Hunt PA. Bisphenol A Exposure In Utero Disrupts Early Oogenesis in the Mouse.
Now we're hearing evidence that this plastic compound may cause heart disease and diabetes 2. N. America is seeing an alarming rise in both these ailments which have been associated with lifestyle choices in the past.
OTTAWA - There's new alarm over plastic food and drink containers containing bisphenol A - evidence that the chemical may cause heart disease and diabetes at real-life levels, and not just at the inflated doses fed to lab rats.
A study of 1,455 U.S. adults found people with the highest level of the chemical ran nearly three times higher risk of cardiovascular disease than people with the lowest concentration. Their risk of Type 2 diabetes - the most common type - was 2.4 times as great.
"It is the first evidence we've ever had on ordinary U.S. adults living ordinary lives," said lead author David Melzer of the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, England. It's also a sharp departure from older tests on lab animals.
While the Canadian health authorities acted quickly in banning bisphenol A from infants' cups and bottles, reuseable water bottles for children and adults remain available. Most of us continue to be exposed to this toxic chemical as it is used to line many canned food containers.
In declaring BPA toxic this spring, Canada banned its use in baby bottles and sippy cups, and retailers are phasing out large, reuseable water bottles with BPA. Use in cans continues