More Alarming News Regarding BPA
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an extremely common chemical, present in many kinds of plastic, and thermal paper, used in cash register receipts. In recent years, concern has been growing that this chemical is getting into our bodies and disrupting normal endocrine function. That’s because this and similar chemicals act like estrogens in the body, binding to receptors for the hormones on the body’s cells. So-called endocrine disruptors are now suspected of playing a role in any number of ill effects on reproductive health. Some believe they are affecting the age at which young girls undergo puberty, and they may even affect male fertility.
Various government agencies have maintained that these compounds, in amounts usually encountered by the public, are essentially safe. But there’s growing concern that this simply isn’t true. What is true is that experts have documented, chillingly, that the vast majority of men, women and children around the world bear at least traces of these chemicals in their bloodstreams. BPA is labeled a “persistent toxin” which resists degradation in the environment. It’s been found in air, water and soil all over the world. Worse, it’s circulating in our bodies. Worse still, it impersonates natural estrogen compounds, with consequences that remain poorly understood.
Now the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)—Europe’s version of our FDA—is questioning the present “safe level” previously established by the agency for human exposure to this persistent chemical. “We evaluate that a tolerable intake of bisphenol A should be lower than one-fifth of the EFSA recommended limit," Professor Ulla Hass from the National Food Institute says. “The health risks of bisphenol A are of concern particularly for highly exposed persons. The concern applies particularly to pregnant or breastfeeding women as well as children as they will be sensitive to potential effects that occur even at low doses of the compound,” Hass adds.
See EFSA's toxicological assessment: Scientific Opinion on the risks to public health related to the presence of bisphenol A (BPA) in foodstuffs: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/3978.htm