What are They, Where are They Found and What Are the Concerns
Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, has been used for decades in the making of tough polycarbonate plastic. Polycarbonate plastic makes up the hard drinking water bottles sold under the name of Nalgene and other brands, as well as baby bottles and tableware. The chemical is also used in dental sealants, medical devices and in the resin lining of most food cans. Look for the white lining.
A Health Canada study of canned pop has found the vast majority of the drinks contain the chemical bisphenol A. Out of 72 drinks tested, 69 were found to contain BPA at levels below what Health Canada says is the safe upper limit.
The health concerns about BPA are that it mimics the hormone, estrogen. U.S. government toxicologists concluded based on animal studies that BPA presents concern for harmful effects on development of the prostate and brain and for behavioral changes in fetuses, infants and children.
Last year, Health Canada declared a ban on BPA in baby bottles, citing that there is no reason for people to worry about BPA but they were using the precautionary measure when it came to baby bottles. Why? Because`We have concluded that early development is sensitive to the effects of bisphenol A,” Canadian Health and Enironment Ministers Clement and Baird told an audience that included new mothers and their babies.
Phthalates have been used for decades to make plastic soft. They are used in soft vinyl products and some perfumes, shampoos, soaps, makeup, pesticides, pill coatings and paints. Two forms, DBP and DEHP, are listed as reproductive toxicants and carcinogens by the state EPA, and the European Union has banned both in cosmetics. The chemical has been found at low levels in milk, drinking water and household dust.
Studies of laboratory animals show a group of effects in males known as “the phthalate syndrome.” This includes infertility, decreased sperm count, undescended testes and malformation of the penis in which the urethra does not open at the tip of the organ. Animal studies also have linked phthalate exposure to liver cancer.
The documentary “The Disappearing Male” is available for download here. (45 min) It links decreased sperm count, penis size and fertility issues to hormone disrupting chemicals in everyday products and is well worth the time to watch.
From the Disappearing Male home page:
“We are conducting a vast toxicological experiment in which our children and our children’s children are the experimental subjects.” Dr. Herbert Needleman
The Disappearing Male is about one of the most important, and least publicized, issues facing the human species: the toxic threat to the male reproductive system.
The last few decades have seen steady and dramatic increases in the incidence of boys and young men suffering from genital deformities, low sperm count, sperm abnormalities and testicular cancer.
Some researchers say that declining male fertility rates could be the first sign of extinction.
At the same time, boys are now far more at risk of suffering from ADHD, autism, Tourette’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, and dyslexia.
The Disappearing Male takes a close and disturbing look at what many doctors and researchers now suspect are responsible for many of these problems: a class of common chemicals that are ubiquitous in our world.
Recent News Headlines about Bisphenol A and Phthalates: They’re Being Taken Seriously
SC Johnson to Phase Out a Phthalate from Products
Consumer products maker SC Johnson said it plans to phase out a type of phthalate, a class of industrial chemical, from its fragrance products over the next two years.
Read entire article here.
Bills Would Ban BPA from Food and Drink Containers
Milwaukee Journal Sentine
Saturday, March 14, 2009; Page A04
Leaders from the House and Senate introduced legislation yesterday that would establish a federal ban on bisphenol A in all food and beverage containers.
Read entire article here.