Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bisphenol A, the latest threat to our way of life

Apparently, the latest trendy thing for us to agonize and argue over is Bisphenol A, a ubiquitous chemical which is found in hard plastic water bottles, baby bottles and in the resins which line tin cans and other products.
Over time, it leaches out in tiny trace amouts which would not normally be a major concern. But this stuff, unlike pretty much anything else and contrary to basic logic, is supposedly more toxic at low exposures than at high.
Environment Canada and Health Canada have flagged it as one of 200 possibly dangerous substances in common use. About 90% of recent independent studies have concluded that it is dangerous, citing results ranging from enlarged prostates to abnormal breast tissue growth to skewed development in laboratory animals. It is known to act like a synthetic estrogen (female sex hormone), and there is concern that it MAY have had a hand in the early onset of puberty, declining sperm counts, and the huge increase in breast and prostate cancer, among other ailments, all of which have grown exponentially in recent years since bispehnol A has been in common usage.
Urine testing in the US suggests that about 95% of the population have been exposed, and testing elsewhere in the world has also found it present in human blood, placentas and fetal cord blood.
GE Plastics and the American Plastics Council, on the other hand, say that "We know that human exposure to BPA is extraordinarily low, well below levels that have been shown to be safe", and that there is "only a statistical association at best" that in no way implicates the industry's product. No surprise there.
I am only just recently starting to be able to eat some of my favourite foods again since they took the trans-fats out of them. Am I now going to have to give up Heinz baked beans and Presidents Choice juices?

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