BPA More Toxic Than Previously Thought

"Heart arrhythmias in females and permanent, deleterious modifications of a gene that plays a pivotal role in reproduction are two new problems being linked to bisphenol A. Best known simply as BPA, this chemical is a building block of polycarbonate plastics — the hard, clear type used in kitchenware and baby bottles — and of resins used to line most U.S. food cans.

Data on BPA’s hormonal alter ego first emerged in 1938, when researchers reported the chemical could trigger biological changes normally seen with estrogen. That’s the primary female sex hormone. By the early 1990s, studies showing how strong this estrogen mimic is and how ubiquitous BPA has become began to trickle out — a flow that has since developed into a wholesale torrent.

At the Endocrine Society meeting in Washington D.C., this week, three different research teams will report new and troubling data from animals experimentally treated with BPA. The scientists shared their findings with reporters, late this morning. Formal presentations of their data are scheduled for later this week."

Janet Raloff reports for Science News June 10, 2009.

Thursday, June 11, 2009