Updates on BPA and pthalates

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) send me some updates about bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates last week.

With regards to BPA, the ACC said that a new data from Health Canada confirmed the safety level of the chemical in bottled water, baby food and infant formula, and that they are said to be extremely low.

“These new government data confirm Health Canada’s previous conclusion that exposure to BPA through food packaging uses is not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborns and young children.” – ACC

The ACC said an adult would have to drink approximately 1,000 liters (or 264 gallons) of water from polycarbonate water cooler bottles every day to approach the BPA intake limit established in Canada.

No BPA was reportedly detected in any canned powdered infant formula samples tested while the levels found in baby food packaged in jars are said to be extremely low.

The Canadian Bottled Water Association and the North American Metal Packaging Alliance both applauded the Health Canada BPA survey and said it confirmed the safety levels of BPA in food packaging.

Meanwhile, the ACC also commented on a recent University of Illinois study by veterinary biosciences professor Jodi Flaws, which will be presented on July 19 at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction.

The study found that chronic exposure to low doses of BPA can impairthe growth and function of adult reproductive cells of mice. Theresearchers said BPA has been found to retard the growth of folliclesof adult mice and hinder their production of steroid hormones.

“Ithink there’s a need for more studies where people look in adult humansto see if BPA is affecting follicle growth and steroid hormone levels,”said Jodi Flaws. “If it is, that might help explain some infertility ormenopausal symptoms.”

ACC said the University of Illinois study was “flawed”(*lol* sorry, can’t help myself) as the researchers examined BPA onlyin a cell culture, not in whole animals.

“Cell cultures have nocapability to metabolize and eliminate BPA, a process that occurs veryefficiently when people are exposed to BPA. Contrary to theresearcher’s speculation that BPA might cause effects on fertility,multiple studies on laboratory animals have found no effects onfertility at doses more than one million times higher than typicalhuman exposure.” – ACC

I’m sure more studies and more counter-studies about BPA will come out again very, very soon.

Meanwhile, a new research about phthalates was heartily approved by the ACC. A studyby Dr. Robert Benson, a risk assessment researcher from the EPA(although he said the study was independently done and received nooutside source of funds) concluded that “humansare unlikely adversely affected from current environmental exposure tophthalate esters dibutyl phthalate, diisobutyl phthalate, butylbenzylphthalate, diethylhexyl phthalate, dipentyl phthalate, and diisononylphthalate.

His study was published in the March 2009 issue of RegulatoryToxicology and Pharmacology, which unfortunately I don’t have access toand so cannot share full-detailed information.

ACC said Dr. Benson’s work should “go a long way toward replacing speculation about the cumulative effects of phthalates exposure with sound scientific analysis.”

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