Chemical Plastic

September 21, 2011

New Study Show Evidences that BPA May Cause Breast Cancer

In a study published on September 1, 2011, researchers suggest that BPA (bisphenol-A) and methylparaben (collectively referred to here as “BPA”) could inhibit the effectiveness of new breast cancer drugs, and potentially cause healthy breast cells to act similar to cancerous cells.

BPA is a chemical used in everyday life; it is found in plastic food containers, the lining of canned food and soda cans, water bottles, other plastic items, and sometimes even on cash register receipts. Methyalpaben is a chemical commonly used in beauty products.

The study, published in the Oxford University Press Journal, Carcinogenesis, found that healthy breast cells, when exposed to BPA and methylparaben, triggered mTOR, the cell mechanism that controls cancer growth. Because the study focuses on BPA and methylparaben and the ability of these chemicals to convert healthy cells into cancerous cells, the findings of the study are also relevant in understanding cancer in women and provides insight for preventative care.

During the study, Drs. Goodson and Dairkee took samples of healthy breast epithelial cells from women that were high-risk for developing cancer or had a personal history of breast cancer. Then, the samples were grown and exposed to BPA at levels similar to those found today in blood, breastmilk, and placental tissue. The researchers found that some of the samples after exposure to the chemicals BPA and methylparaben demonstrated activation of the cell’s central mechanism that controls cancer growth.

Additionally, the study found that when healthy breast cells were exposed to the cancer-preventing drug Tamoxifen after exposure to BPA, the cells did not die as hypothesized. Tamoxifen is proven to trigger “cell death” or apoptosis in the cancer cells when used to treat patients with cancer, so this is both a surprising and troubling finding. Additionally, the study found that BPA also prevented cancer cell death that is known to be triggered by the drug Rapamycin, which is part of a newer class of anti-cancer drugs that were designed to turn off the cancer growth gene. Thus, this study seems to indicate that exposure to BPA and methylparaben may inhibit the effectiveness of cancer fighting drugs.

“We don’t know yet how reversible these effects of BPA are, particularly if cancer has already developed,” says Dr. Goodson. “But it is intriguing to speculate that reducing BPA exposure might have a beneficial effect on any malignant changes that have been induced, and even decrease the overall risk of cancer.”

This is just one of a number of studies that continue to provide us with further evidence regarding the harmful effects of BPA. Presently, Chicago has initiated a ban on baby bottles and cups that contain BPA. Canada went so far as to list BPA as a toxic substance under its environmental protection act and has introduced regulations that will ban selling, advertising, manufacturing or importing baby bottles with BPA-related plastics.

Nowadays, BPA products are embedded into our daily life: from the makeup we wear in the morning, heating our plastic lunch boxes, grabbing a BPA-plastic water bottle, or grabbing a soda can at dinner; we are surrounded in BPA. We have a long way to go to understand the effects of BPA and take effective action to protect ourselves.

April 20, 2011

How to Cut our Exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) in Kitchen?

Bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, is a chemical used to make hard plastic containers and the lining of metal food and beverage cans. Some scientific studies have linked the hormone-disrupting chemical to reproductive abnormalities and a heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems.

However, plastic containers and canned foods can be found in most kitchens because they are convenient and affordable. But there is growing evidence that our use of packaged food comes at a cost.

BPA is so ubiquitous – found even on cash register receipts – that more than 90 percent of Americans have traces of it in their urine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While scientists continue to study the health effects of BPA and debate what is a safe level to intake, there are steps we can take to cut our exposure to the chemical in our kitchens by opting for safe alternatives.

Experts say BPA is most likely to leach from metal and plastic containers into acidic, salty or fatty foods. BPA levels also rise in food when it comes in contact with plastic containers that are heated, particularly in the microwave. So please not to microwave in plastic, and perhaps the next step is to get rid of plastics, and switching to glass containers.

As reported in The Chronicle on March 30 (bit.ly/gQP8hk), a recent study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that it is possible to significantly reduce exposure to BPA and other synthetic chemicals by limiting packaged foods from our diets and storing food in glass or stainless steel containers.

The study acknowledges that while it’s not practical to avoid food packaging altogether, it’s best to choose fresh or frozen instead of canned food as much as possible.

Food preparation avoided contact with plastic utensils and non-stick-coated cookware, and foods were stored in glass containers with BPA-free plastic lids.

BPA is also found in the epoxy resins used to line metal food cans. In Japan, most major manufacturers voluntarily changed their can linings in 1997 to cut or eliminate the use of BPA in response to concerns about health effects.

“If a plastic container is hard and clear and doesn’t say ‘BPA-free,’ assume it’s made with BPA and don’t buy it,” suggests vom Saal, who uses only plastics marked on the bottom with recycling codes 2 and 5.

* More ways to reduce BPA exposure:

- Get rid of scratched plastic containers, which may harbor bacteria, and if made with BPA, lead to greater release of the chemical.

- Do not put very hot or boiling liquid that you intend to consume in plastic containers. BPA levels rise in food when containers or products made with the chemical are heated and come in contact with the food.

- Use stainless steel water bottles rather than hard plastic, but avoid metal bottles lined with a plastic coating and the type of multi-gallon polycarbonate water coolers typically found in offices.

- Eat at home as much as possible so you know how your food is prepared and stored. Higher BPA and DEHP levels are associated with restaurant meals. When you do eat out, choose restaurants that use fresh ingredients.

Last, please remember that “anything you can do to reduce the amount of BPA in your body will lower your risk of disease.”

January 30, 2011

Choose your Water Bottle of Plastic very carefully

Choose your water bottles very carefully in order to prevent chemicals in the plastic from leaching into your water. So, which plastic water bottles don’t leach chemicals?

Plastic water bottles are very convenient for carting water around when we are on the go, as they don’t break if we drop them. However, it is worth paying attention to the type of plastic your water bottle is made of, to ensure that the chemicals in the plastic do not leach into the water.

If you taste plastic, you are drinking it, so get yourself another bottle. To be certain that you are choosing a bottle that does not leach, check the recycling symbol on your bottle. If it is a No.2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), or a No.4 LDPE (low density polyethylene), or a No.5 PP (polypropylene), your bottle is fine.

The type of plastic bottle in which water is usually sold is usually a No.1, and is only recommended for one time use. Do not refill it. Better to use a reusable water bottle, and fill it with your own filtered water from home and keep these single-use bottles out of the landfill.

Unfortunately, those fabulous colourful hard plastic lexan bottles made with polycarbonate plastics and identified by the No.7 recycling symbol, may leach BPA. Bisphenol A is a xenoestrogen, a known endocrine disruptor, meaning it disturbs the hormonal messaging in our bodies.

Synthetic xenoestrogens are linked to breast cancer and uterine cancer in women, decreased testosterone levels in men, and are particularly devastating to babies and young children. BPA has even been linked to insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes. For more of the science on the effects of BPA on our endocrine system etc.

See these studies: Environmental Health Perspectives Journal. Nalgene, the company that manufactures the lexan water bottles also makes #2 HDPE bottles in the same sizes and shapes, so we have a viable alternative. Order one at Nalgene. Unfortunately, most plastic baby bottles and drinking cups are made with plastics containing Bisphenol A.

In 2006 Europe banned all products made for children under age 3 containing BPA, and as of Dec. 2006 the city of San Franscisco followed suit. In March 2007 a billion-dollar class action suit was commenced against Gerber, Playtex, Evenflo, Avent, and Dr. Brown’s in Los Angeles superior court for harm done to babies caused by drinking out of baby bottles and sippy cups containing BPA. So, to be certain that your baby is not exposed, use glass bottles.

Check the recycling numbers on all your plastic food containers as well, and gradually move to storing all food in glass or ceramic. Store water in glass or brass if possible, and keep it away from direct sunlight.

November 29, 2010

Chemical in Plastic Baby Bottles Raises Alarm

Bisphenol A (BPA), a compound in hard, clear polycarbonate plastics, is getting official scrutiny — and things are looking less than rosy for the controversial chemical.

The European Commission voted Thursday to ban the estrogen-like chemical BPA, or bisphenol A, from plastic baby bottles by the middle of next year – 2011.

The U.S. government’s National Toxicology Program yesterday agreed with a scientific panel that recently expressed concern about physiological changes that occur in people when they ingest BPA that has leached from plastic into their food.

In spite of what it called some “uncertainty” in the science, the commission said in a statement that it was concerned about BPA, which helps make plastic hard and shatterproof, and its effects on children’s development, the body’s immune response and cancer risk. Studies have linked BPA exposure to heart disease, diabetes and low sperm counts in men.

“This is a good news for European consumers,” said John Dalli, commissioner in charge of health and consumer policy for the European Commission.

The Canadian government is even considering declaring the chemical toxic, reports today’s New York Times.

European Union countries must stop manufacturing polycarbonate plastic baby bottles with BPA by March 2011; they must stop selling or importing them by June 2011, according to the statement.

The vote comes a week after American opponents of BPA failed to include a ban on the chemical in a $1.4 billion food-safety bill. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who had championed a ban on BPA in baby bottles, blamed the chemical industry for defeating her proposal.

Although consumer backlash has prompted major American baby bottle manufacturers to stop using BPA, the chemical is used in cheaper products sold in discount stores, according to Janet Nudelman of the Breast Cancer Fund.

The American Chemistry Council, which represents the plastics industry, maintains that BPA is safe. “Government agencies worldwide have examined the science of BPA, including a recent European Food Safety Authority review of 800 studies, and concluded that low doses of BPA are not a risk to human health,” the council’s Steve Hentges said in a statement. “Based on the science, an international panel of experts organized by the World Health Organization recently concluded that public health measures on BPA are premature.”

In a statement, the Environment Working Group, an advocacy organization, commended Europe’s decision, noting that more than 90% of Americans have BPA in their urine. The group’s tests have found BPA in babies’ umbilical cords. “It is absolutely unacceptable that American babies are born pre-polluted with this toxic chemical,” group President Kenneth Cook said.

Canada, France and Denmark already have banned the use of BPA in baby bottles. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed “some concern” that BPA may alter the brain, behavior and prostate gland in children, both before and after birth.

This could set the stage for banning it from plastic baby bottles, water bottles, and food containers. At the very least, some people will be even more eager to buy foods and beverages in BPA-free containers.

In March, the Environmental Protection Agency said it would consider adding BPA to its list of chemicals of concern, looking at levels of BPA in surface, ground and drinking water.

Legislatures in at least 20 states have considered banning BPA in children’s products. As of October, seven states had voted to ban BPA in baby bottles: Connecticut, Minnesota, Washington, Wisconsin, Vermont, Maryland and New York.

Chicago and four counties in New York — Albany, Rockland, Schenectady and Suffolk — also have banned BPA in baby bottles.

Beyond switching baby bottles, another way to lower exposure to BPA is to avoid heating foods and liquids in plastic containers that contain the compound. The amount of BPA that leaches out, the NTP says, may depend more on the temperature of the liquid, food, or container itself than on the age of the plastic bottle or dish.

A Massachusetts health advisory warned pregnant and nursing women last year to choose fresh or frozen products, rather than food in cans, which often contain BPA in their plastic linings.

The whole Europe is going BPA-free.

November 1, 2010

US Study Discovered Plasticizer BPA may Cause Male Infertility

The controversial plasticizer bisphenol A (BPA) has been used in the lunch boxes, baby bottles and other plastic products for decades. As the material had been implicated in male impotence, it was dubbed as a “sex changing chemical”. According a report issued by the British “Daily Telegraph” on 28, Oct., “a latest study published on the United States magazine “Fertility and Sterility” shows that bisphenol A can also reduce sperm motility and quality, thus leading to male infertility.

BPA can interfere with human’s endocrine system, leading to abnormal secretion of hormone. There were early studies has found that BPA is relevant to low sexual desire, impotence, as well as sperm DAN damages. While a latest 5-year study found that the BPA levels in blood has direct correlation with men fertility.

Researchers in The Oakland Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in Oakland, USA took a survey among 514 Chinese workers and found that men with higher urinary BPA levels, who occurred with the risk of lower sperm concentration, and poor vitality increased 2-4 times. In addition, men in USA with lower BPA levels in the blood to the average level in USA, whose fertility will be affected greatly, too. 

The major charger of this new research, Chinese genesiology expert Li Dekun (phonetic) , MD said: compared with men whose urine had no BPA, men with higher BPA level occurred with the risk of low sperm concentration and lower livability may increased by 3 times, and the sperm quantity decreasing risk may increased by more than 4 times, and the risk of sperm vitality decreasing may increased 2 times.

MD Li Dekun warned that everyone should try to stay away from BPA, BPA may hurt women’s reproductive too, which may add the incidence of various types of cancers or new type metabolism diseases. 

According to some authentic reports, the U.S. and Canada have banned the use of BPA presently.

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