April 15, 2008

One year ago on SentDev: Bisphenol A 'inherently toxic'

A year ago I wrote about the perils of Bisphenol A. News hit the wire today that Health Canada is on the verge of classifying it as a dangerous substance.
If you eat canned food or drink from a can or hard plastic bottles, chances are good that you've ingested Bisphenol A. A controversy is now raging over the safety of the chemical, which acts like a synthetic female sex hormone. Bisphenol A may be responsible for a number of health risks.

Here's an excerpt from the Globe and Mail article, 'Inherently toxic' chemical faces its future,
It seems obvious that a high dose of a poison would be more dangerous than a lower one, but bisphenol A is creating a stir because it doesn't follow this seemingly common-sense rule. Researchers say this oddity results from the fact that bisphenol A isn't a conventional harmful agent, such as cigarette smoke, but behaves in the unconventional way typical of hormones, where even vanishingly small exposures can be harmful.

This is why some environmentalists and scientists contend that bisphenol A, which leaches in trace amounts from food and beverage packaging, is among the scariest manufactured substances in use, an eerie modern version of the vaunted lead water pipes by which ancient Romans were unknowingly poisoned.

Extrapolating from the results of animal experiments, they suspect bisphenol A has its fingerprints all over the unexplained human health trends emerging in recent decades hinting at something going haywire with sex hormones, including the early onset of puberty, declining sperm counts, and the huge increase in breast and prostate cancer, among other ailments.
Look for this issue to gain increasing public attention over the coming months and years.


Cliff said...

When I consider the complexity and sheer extent of our chemical industry, I get frightened at the thought of how my biochemistry might be getting altered in a billion different ways.
This post goes along with other articles I've seen regarding trace amounts of pharmaceutical drugs in our water supplies and chemicals that potentially lower a man's testosterone levels over time.
The comparison to Rome's lead pipes is unfortunately pretty accurate, I think.

George said...

Absolutely, Cliff. And just wait for the claims of nanotechnological micro-nasties in our environment.

Cliff said...

I'm hoping for nanotech that can clean some of these chemicals out of me.

George said...

Why does Neil Stephenson's Diamond Age suddenly come to mind?

Kristen said...

It's crazy to think that all this time we have been exposed to BPA but until this recent spur in interest over it, it was brushed under the rug. Our lives are consumed by BPA. It is in fillings in our teeth, it lines the metal in our canned foods, and in our plastic food containers. It is scary to know that BPA is found in most baby bottles and sippy cups. There are many new companies coming out with BPA free bottles though. As far as plastic drinking bottles for adults go, Camelbak has always been BPA free and Nalgene and REI are coming out with BPA-free lines, too.