I blog often about the harmful effects of bisphenol A (BPA) because this harmful chemical is found in over 90 percent of people in the U.S., and it has been linked to an array of health conditions. BPA is a hormone disruptor. That is, it acts as an estrogen imposter, interfering with hormone function in the body. BPA is found in food and beverage containers and linings, dental sealants, medical equipment, and thermal receipt paper.
The main source of BPA exposure is the diet, primarily from food that has come into contact with BPA laden containers. A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found that 3-year-old daughters of women with the highest urine levels of BPA when they were pregnant are more likely to exhibit anxious, depressive, and hyperactive behaviors when compared to those girls whose mothers had the lowest levels of BPA in urine during pregnancy. Boys were also analyzed in this study, but the relationship between BPA levels and behavior was not found in boys.
Previous studies have found a relationship between BPA exposure and impaired social behaviors in children, but a difference between boys and girls was not found. Further studies will be needed to investigate this relationship to determine if a true gender difference exists.
Another recent study published in the journal Circulation found that increased urinary BPA levels were associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease ten years later. The researchers say, “This study strengthens the statistical link between BPA and heart disease, but we can’t be certain that BPA itself is responsible.” The researchers recommend that government agencies organize safety trials of BPA in humans to determine what (if any) levels are safe for human health.
Concern about the dangers of BPA is widespread. In other recent news, Campbell’s Soup has announced that it has begun to remove BPA from some of its canned products, and plans to completely remove it from all products by 2015. This is a big move for such a prominent company. Not that I recommend Campbell’s Soup products, which are over-processed and under-nutritious at best, but I do give kudos to them for taking a big step in a positive direction here. I hope this inspires more companies to remove this toxic chemical from their products.