14 October 1998 22:15 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (CNI)--A study set for release Thursday will challenge widely publicised assertions about the health dangers posed by the presence of bisphenol A in products ranging from canned foods to dental sealants, CNI learned Wednesday.
Bisphenol A is the primary ingredient in polycarbonate and is added to many plastics and resins, including the resins that line many food and beverage cans.
Low doses of the chemical did not produce any estrogenic effects in mice, a finding that contradicts a preliminary, small-scale study conducted in 1997 by Frederick vom Saal and colleagues at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
The vom Saal study, which received wide attention by the popular press and the scientific community, indicated that in utero exposure to low doses of orally administered bisphenol A caused developmental abnormalities, such as changes in prostate size and sperm production, in male mice.
In a follow-up experiment financed by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) and CEFIC, the European Chemical Industry Council, involving a larger number of mice, the same doses of bisphenol A failed to produce endocrine disruption effects.
In addition to the SPI/CEFIC-funded study, at least one other industry group has attempted to replicate the vom Saal study and has failed to find effects of low doses of bisphenol A on male mice exposed in utero.
James Lamb, a toxicologist who serves on a National Academy of Sciences committee that is completing a major study of endocrine disrupters, said that the industry study "is a valid, good faith attempt to replicate vom Saal's study and in many ways it goes far beyond it, for example by using more than four times as many animals in each group."
Lamb, a consultant here at Jellinek, Schwartz & Connolly, said the research "puts the onus back on vom Saal" to demonstrate that his research can be replicated.
Vom Saal and environmental advocates have pressed governments around the world to take regulatory action to limit exposure to bisphenol A.
In addition to vom Saal, several other research teams have found that bisphenol A causes estrogenic effects in rats and mice, but other researchers have been cautious about extrapolating the results to humans.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|