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BPA exposure higher than expected, linked to health problems

January 29, 2009 by  

A chemical in plastic may enter the body through a variety of meansA new study draws attention to previously unknown health risks associated with a common plastics chemical.

Scientists from the University of Rochester Medical Center, writing in the journal Environmental Heath Perspectives, found that the half-life of bisphenol A (BPA) is longer than expected, and they suspect that exposure to the chemical may therefore take place via non-alimentary routes as well.

This challenges previously held beliefs that food is the main source of BPA, and that it is completely excreted from the body.

The researchers, led by Dr. Richard W. Stahlhut of the University of Rochester’s Environmental Health Sciences Center, theorize that additional BPA exposure may come from dust or tap water and that, moreover, it may accumulate in the fat tissue inside the body.

However, they caution that more research is needed to determine if that is indeed the case.

Last September, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported risks associated with exposure to BPA which include brain damage in fetuses and higher risk for heart disease and diabetes in adults.

BPA is a component of many plastics that are commonly used to manufacture a range of consumer products including baby bottles and food containers, but also water pipes.
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