BPA Not Linked to Ill Effects in 2 Studies
Findings Conflict With Earlier Studies Suggesting Plastics Chemical Is a Health Hazard
Feb. 19, 2010 -- In two new studies, researchers conclude that the plastics
chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is not toxic to the brain or act as a hormone
disrupter, altering the age of puberty or reproductive function.
Both studies are published in Toxicological Sciences. One was funded
by the plastics industry; the other, by a state university and the
Environmental Protection Agency.
Although the plastics industry praises the findings, an environmental expert
says the studies -- both conducted on animals -- are flawed and the findings
don't undo what she sees as an abundance of evidence suggesting BPA is
''Together the two studies provide complementary, corroborative data, and
neither found effects of low-dose BPA on the developing brain or behavior,"
says Steven Hentges, PhD, executive director of the Polycarbonae/BPA Global
Group of the American Chemistry Council, the industry group that funded the
study looking at neurotoxicity with BPA exposure. Hentges is a co-author on the
paper, published online Feb. 17.
Sonya Lunder, MPH, senior analyst with the Environmental Working Group, who
has researched BPA and health, counters, "You have to read these findings
against all the other work that's been done [suggesting a hazard linked with
Just a month ago, the FDA reversed its previous stance finding BPA was safe,
calling for more research and offering suggestions on how parents, in
particular, can minimize their families' exposure to the chemical. BPA is found
in a wide range of products, such as plastic bottles, liners of food cans,
feeding cups, and some baby
bottles (although several baby bottle manufacturers have stopped using
Some experts are concerned that exposure to BPA and its weak estrogen-like
effects, especially during critical periods of development, may be linked to a
range of health hazards, including behavioral effects, reproductive problems,
disease, and diabetes.
BPA and Neurotoxicity Study
In the neurotoxicity study, researchers from WIL Research Laboratories in
Murrysvillle, Pa., and colleagues exposed female rats and their litters to
dietary concentrations of BPA at different doses from the time of gestation
through the 21st day of breastfeeding.
They tested the animals for their auditory startle response, motor activity,
learning, and memory by using a water maze, brain and nervous system pathology,
and brain measurements.
No adverse effects were noted.