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Liver cancer related to BPA for the first time

Caren Weinhouse, a doctoral student in the School of Public Health's Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan, and colleagues are the first to report a direct and statistically significant link between exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) and liver cancer in the Feb. 3, 2014, edition of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

CamelBak brand water bottles hang on display at an outdoor supply store on April 16, 2008, in Arcadia, California. The CamelBak brand is free of the controversial carbonate plastic bisphenol-a (BPA), one of the most widely used synthetic chemicals.
CamelBak brand water bottles hang on display at an outdoor supply store on April 16, 2008, in Arcadia, California. The CamelBak brand is free of the controversial carbonate plastic bisphenol-a (BPA), one of the most widely used synthetic chemicals.
David McNew/Getty Images

The researchers exposed female mice to varying levels of BPA that were equivalent to the levels of exposure people would experience from plastics, the lining of food cans, cash register receipts, and paint. The highest level of exposure was 50 milligrams of BPA per kilogram of diet.

The exposed female mice were bred and their offspring were observed to have a 27 percent higher than normal rate of liver cancer and the development of cancerous lesions in their livers. The same rate of development of liver cancer was observed in male and female mice. Normally, female mice and humans have a lower rate of liver cancer than males.

The researchers also noted that this study proved than free BPA (not bonded to another molecule) could be transferred to the fetus and produce a higher potential for liver cancer.

This is the first research that demonstrates the connection between BPA and liver cancer and shows that “the timing of exposure and the dosage are extremely critical in evaluating study outcomes."