BPA Harms At Much Lower Levels Than Previously Thought
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in most plastics, cans, and other types of food and drink packaging as well as money, receipts and newer kinds of dental resins. It is a known endocrine disruptor that hijacks normal hormone function – it is often called a gender-bending substance for its estrogen-inducing effects on lab mice.
It has been linked to obesity, infertility and reproductive disorders in both genders, breast cancer, behavioral problems, and more. Earlier this year, its damaging effects on neuro-development were scrutinized and it was shown to cause brain impairment. Two years ago, a Harvard study found a whopping 1200% spike in BPA levels in the urine of people who had recently eaten canned soup.
Just on the heels of the EPA dropping it from their list of concerns, a group of researchers delves back into their previous studies, performs new tests and makes a sobering discovery….
Landes Bioscience has just published a study called “Low dose effects of bisphenol A: An integrated review of in vitro, laboratory animal, and epidemiology studies.” This group had analyzed hundreds of studies back in 2007 and had based their assumptions on that data and what had been considered unsafe levels. The cut-off for the lowest dose leading to adverse effects on lab mammals had been studied at 50mg per day – meaning it could only harm humans at levels higher than 50mg.
This was the presumption for a long time – not so anymore. Traditional studies weren’t completely accurate as they only looked at certain endpoints and not the whole picture, like how our bodies deal with it in the long term. This team took a more integrative approach. They looked at 450 newer studies, researched more endpoints and did both in vitro and in vivo studies – inside and outside the mammal bodies. They could repeatedly reproduce poor health effects at incredibly low levels – 10 to 40 times lower than traditional reports – amounts that people can easily encounter every day. They detail how low levels affect wildlife, but also lead to behavioral problems, infertility, allergies, polycystic ovarian syndrome and inflammatory response in humans.
So what we had been told were “safe levels” before, was entirely untrue because the bigger picture of the effects were not taken into account. They concluded, from these various angles, that lower doses should be considered adverse.
While they hope that these findings will tighten regulatory use, it appears that U.S. agencies have moved on from any warnings – and continue to protect companies who hide behind “confidential business” secrets. The EPA ignored another study last year that showed lower levels of endocrine disruptors like BPA could actually do more damage than even higher dosages.
Perhaps a bigger concern is how when a toxic substance gets a large consumer backlash, it is often quickly replaced by a much more harmful substance, undetected, until after a few decades it will slowly make its way into research and public knowledge. That’s the basic story of BPA. That means when companies boast BPA-free on their labels, we don’t know much about the replacement chemical. They are actually worse! Bisphenol S (BPS) replaces BPA, has the same toxic effects and takes even longer to break down in the environment.
Regulatory agencies are not helping in this matter. If you want to prevent the serious damage that comes from endocrine disruptors, then make a point to drastically reduce exposure to any chemicals in food, its containers, personal body care, and household cleaners. Try to eat homemade to avoid cans and other packaging – and regularly detox. Probiotics “eat away” BPA in the body and black tea is said to reduce BPA levels as well.