One of the most talked about toxins these days is bisphenol A (BPA), a toxin found in many household products. Most, if not all, people in the developing world come into contact with it every day. BPA is an endocrine disruptor, interfering with hormone function in the body. Studies that link BPA to poor health are numerous and growing. BPA is no longer allowed in baby bottles in the United States, and Canada has officially declared BPA a toxic substance. (We’re a little behind, unsurprisingly.)
Did you know that BPA-like compounds are also found in resin-based dental fillings? I blogged about this a couple years ago. Well, a new study published in the prominent journal Pediatrics discovered an alarming link—the children exposed to bisGMA-based fillings had greater impairment of psycho social function. Essentially, they were more likely to become moody, aggressive, and to be less well adjusted.
Although the researchers did not measure levels of BPA, they attribute the negative link to the oral release of BPA from the resin fillings. Fortunately, another study is already underway looking at the release of BPA from these fillings. In the meantime, experts do not recommend avoiding fillings. The health risks of tooth decay outweigh the potential risks of BPA-containing fillings at this time. In the meantime, keep abreast of the science (I’ll report anything I come across), and practice excellent oral hygiene. Floss daily, brush at least twice daily, and stay away from sugary foods and refined carbs.
Another confirmation of the negative effects of BPA comes by way of a study in primates. Much of the research on BPA comes from studies in mice, and some scientists question the relevance of those findings to humans. The primate study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, confirms that BPA levels comparable to those found in many Americans increase the density of mammary glands, a finding that in mice has been linked to precancerous and cancerous growth when exposed in utero. Because primates resemble humans biologically, the relevance of these findings is important.
“Because BPA is chemically related to diethylstilbestrol, an estrogen that increased the risk of breast cancer in both rodents and women exposed in the womb, the sum of all these findings strongly suggests that BPA is a breast carcinogen in humans and human exposure to BPA should be curtailed,” stated Ana Soto, lead author of the study.
The day this chemical is removed from everyday products in this country, I will be celebrating!