BPA May Be Linked to Heart Disease Risk
Study Shows Higher Levels of Chemical Mean Higher Risk of Heart Disease
WebMD News Archive
BPA: Possible Health Effects continued...
The American Chemistry Council, a group representing the chemical industry,
has in the past defended the safety of BPA. In a written statement provided to
WebMD, Steven G. Hentges, PhD, of the ACC's Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group,
says the Metzer study does not prove a link between BPA and heart disease.
"Studies of this type are very limited in what they tell us about potential
impacts on human health. While they can provide helpful information on where to
focus future research, by themselves they cannot and should not be used to
demonstrate that a particular chemical can cause a particular effect," Hentges
says in a news release. "The study itself does not establish a cause-and-effect
relationship between BPA exposure and heart disease."
But Gina Solomon, MD, senior scientist at the environmental group National
Resources Defense Council, says the study is a missing piece that helps to
solve the BPA puzzle.
"Already we know that BPA is associated with diabetes and metabolic
disturbances, so it is not surprising this carries out to heart disease,"
Solomon tells WebMD. "These results make sense and really increase our level of
concern that BPA is a public health threat."
Solomon also sees a silver lining in the finding that BPA levels dropped by
nearly a third from 2003-2004 to 2005-2006.
"This is showing that the voluntary actions taken by manufacturers to remove
BPA from their products may be having an effect," she says. "But even the lower
levels found in this study are still linked to health effects, so more action
needs to occur to protect the public."
Reducing BPA Exposure
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) says there
is some concern about BPA safety for fetuses, infants, and children but
negligible concern over the chemical's reproductive toxicity for adults.
There's no way to avoid BPA entirely: It's in food, water, and air. But the
NIEHS offers this advice for people who want to reduce their exposure to
- Don’t microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers. Polycarbonate is
strong and durable, but over time it may break down from overuse at high
- Polycarbonate containers that contain BPA usually have a No. 7 on the
bottom, although not all containers with a No. 7 contain BPA.
- Reduce your use of canned foods.
- When possible, opt for glass, porcelain, or stainless steel containers,
particularly for hot food or liquids.
- Use baby bottles that are BPA-free.
The current Melzer study appears in the online journal PLoSOne.