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Health & Baby

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Bisphenol A Tied to Health Problems

Study Shows Plastic Chemical Linked to Heart Disease, Diabetes; Industry Says No Proof Bisphenol A Is to Blame

Bisphenol A Critic's View continued...

"The FDA says there has to be a reasonable certainty of safety in order to use these products. I look at the entire literature and I say there is a very reasonable certainty of harm," says vom Saal.

An FDA spokesperson wasn't immediately available to comment on that. The FDA recently issued a draft report on the safety of bisphenol A in food contact items (food and drink packaging). That draft report deemed bisphenol A food and drink containers safe for typical use. European regulators recently took a similar stance.

But another government agency, the National Toxicology Program, doesn't rule out all risk from bisphenol A. In a separate report the NTP notes "some concern" for effects on the brain, prostate gland, and on behavior in fetuses, infants, and children.

Industry Responds

WebMD contacted the American Chemistry Council (a trade group for the plastics industry) and the North American Metal Packaging Alliance (a trade group for the canned goods industry) for their comments on the study.

The American Chemistry Council replied by email with a statement underscoring the limitations mentioned in the study. Because of those limitations, "this new study cannot support a conclusion that bisphenol A causes any disease," Steven G. Hentges, PhD, of the American Chemistry Council's Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group, states in a news release. "The weight of scientific evidence continues to support the conclusion of governments worldwide that bisphenol A is not a significant health concern at the trace levels present in some consumer products," Hentges states.

The council doesn't totally dismiss the study, but it sees the study as being "primarily useful for generating hypotheses that can be tested with more appropriate experiments or analyses," states the council's news release.

The North American Metal Packaging Alliance (NAMPA) also emailed a statement, which points out that study participants only provided one urine sample, and that the body "quickly and efficiently" eliminates bisphenol A through urine. "To suggest that BPA concentrations measured at a single point in time during the process of elimination from the body correlate in any way directly with serious chronic disorders is entirely unsupported and an unsubstantiated scientific leap," states NAMPA, adding that "while the study raises interesting questions, it provides no scientifically defensible answers" and requires further research.

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