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Plastic Chemical Safety Weighed

Expert Panel Notes No Major Health Concerns About Plastic Chemical Bisphenol A

About Bisphenol A continued...

Bisphenol A leaches out of polycarbonate plastics, with more bisphenol A leaching out of heated plastics, note Ana Soto, MD, and Michele Marcus, PhD, MPH.

Soto is a professor of anatomy and cellular biology at Tufts University near Boston. Marcus is a professor of epidemiology at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta.

Soto and Marcus have studied bisphenol A. They're among the 38 scientists who note concerns about bisphenol A in a consensus statement published Reproductive Toxicology.

Concerns About Bisphenol A

"The main concern is that bisphenol A is an estrogen. It mimics the action of the female hormone estradiol," Soto tells WebMD.

"My lab and other labs have found that bisphenol A causes diverse effects, and to me, the most critical ones are those that happen in fetal life where all these organs are being formed," says Soto.

Marcus agrees, noting that "the developing embryo is generally more vulnerable to the effects of exposures than adults."

Bisphenol A "has been shown to cause chromosomal abnormalities in mice and to cause early pubertal development in rodents," says Marcus.

Some research suggests that bisphenol A may have effects that span more than one generation, according to Soto and Marcus.

"It seems there is mounting evidence that bisphenol A would produce transgenerational effects," says Soto.

However, there have been "virtually no" studies of bisphenol A's direct effects in humans, says Marcus.

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