Marilyn Marchione released an article on October 13, 2013 at 9:04 p.m. PDT for the Seattle Times regarding a paper to be presented on October 21, 2013 at a conference of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.The study describes the adverse effects on male and female reproductive systems from BPA and phthalates. The title of the study is BPA, Phthalates May Pose Reproductive Problems In Both Sexes.
For women, the presence of BPA during pregnancy has been shown in a small study to increase the incidence of miscarriages. Men with high levels of phthalates are 20% less likely to successfully impregnate their female partners.
The release of this study has gained a large amount of media attention. The EPA and the FDA have both formally stated that BPA is safe for use in plastic bottles and for coatings in metal containers. These coatings are especially important where the product is acidic, as is the case with tomato products.
A rebuttal statement was released on October 14, 2013 at the website mfrtech.com. John M. Rost is a chief scientist for the North American Metal Packaging Alliance (NAMPA). Rost had this to say about BPA’s safety as a coating for metal containers.
“The FDA and the EPA have invested significant resources to help confirm BPA's safety in consumer products, including canned foods and their message is clear -- the available information continues to support the safety of BPA for the currently approved use in food containers and packaging.”
As Rost said, these organizations have invested significant resources to help confirm BPA’s safety in consumer products. The FDA and EPA do not have a good history of acting to protect consumer safety when significant financial issues are involved with the industries that they are charged to regulate.
“Dr. Rost further noted that comprehensive studies by U.S. government agencies and others have shown that the human body, including a developing fetus, is able to metabolize effectively and eliminate BPA, reducing the likelihood of any health impact.”
The lead author of the study, Dr. Ruth Lathi said in an interview about the study that as far as BPA goes, people should
“Avoid anything that involves cooking or warming food in plastic as the chemicals leak out of plastic materials at a higher rate at higher temperatures. This includes leaving water bottles in a hot car, which can significantly increase the rate at which the chemicals are released from the plastic into the water.
Avoid canned food, avoid cooking or heating plastic,” she added, “and then avoid unnecessary cash register receipts. Those are simple things that don’t cost a lot of money and are easy to do.”
There have been many studies done on BPA, with most concluding that the human body deactivates the ability of BPA to seriously impact hormone functions in the body with regard to the reproductive system and for BPA to directly act as a carcinogen. There is some evidence that BPA may work with other factors to increase the risk for certain cancers, and especially those related to hormone issues as in some breast cancers.
Trevor Butterworth wrote an article for Forbes that has this key statement regarding BPA.
“As a recent crucial study (Teeguarden et al.) conducted by researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found, active BPA is below the level of detection in people exposed to diets very high in BPA. This study, which used the most sensitive analytic techniques to determine the presence of BPA in the blood, confirmed earlier biomonitoring studies conducted for the European Food Safety Authority.”
Bisphenol A is synthesized by combining acetone with phenol. Acetone was used as a nail polish remover, and is highly toxic to the liver. Phenol has many uses including being a major component of embalming fluid. BPA has been used as a fungicide in the past.
Formal studies have documented that 98% of the BPA is converted in the human digestive system to chemicals with no known impact on the hormones in the body. While this may be true, the advice of Dr. Lathi seems to be very wise. Buy foods in glass where possible, and don’t use any plastic containers in the microwave.