Well folks, it looks like BPA is back in the news, and the news is not good. In one of the first studies of its kind, scientists from the University of Michigan and the Harvard School of Public Health looked at how exposure to the chemical Bisphenol A affected the sperm count and quality in otherwise healthy male adults, and here’s what they found:
Of the nearly 200 men that participated in the study by providing urine and sperm samples, those with the highest levels of BPA had significantly lower sperm counts as well as a notable increase in damage to healthy sperm DNA, which scientists believe has to do with how BPA affects healthy hormone function in the body and can interfere with normal growth and development.
One of the reasons I think this is really interesting is because most of the studies about BPA so far have looked at how BPA affects babies in the womb, or how it affects developing children and adults—but few have looked at the effects of exposure at such an early stage. So for couples out there who are trying to get pregnant, this is definitely something to think about.
Folks, BPA is everywhere. It’s in hundreds of products like canned foods and beverages, along with plastic baby bottles and reusable water bottles. In fact, more than 2 billion pounds of it are produced annually according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who describes BPA as a “reproductive, developmental and systemic toxicant”. Even the latest report from the President’s Cancer Panel cautions against using products made with BPA. But with all that said, the FDA is still dragging its feet about BPA and only just this year decided to update the warning on its website about BPA—talk about a day late and a dollar short!
Even though further research is needed to determine the full effects of BPA exposure at the reproductive stage and throughout human life, I for one wasn’t surprised to see BPA once again in the hot seat. For some really good tips on how you and your family can reduce BPA exposure, check out Environmental Working Group’s Consumer Tips to Avoid BPA Exposure.