National Geographic News is reporting that Bisphenol-A, or BPA - a common, human-made chemical that enters most of our bodies everyday - has been linked to heart disease according to a new study.
The study comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration - which has until now maintained that BPA is safe at low levels - announced this past Friday that the FDA has some concerns about the impacts of BPA on developing fetuses, infants, and children. The agency is also urging consumers to reduce their exposure to the chemical until further studies are completed.
BPA is commonly used in consumer plastics, particularly polycarbonate plastic items such as many sunglasses, reusable bottles, food packaging, and baby bottles. It also lines the inside of food cans.
It's probably a good idea that you check all of the water bottles/containers that you use for hiking, cycling and gym exercise just to be safe. You can look at the recycling code on the bottle (usually on the bottom) to determine if it contains BPA. #7 is the type that may contain BPA (and the code may look like the image on the right). Most store-bought water bottles are not #7. It's typically the hard polycarbonate plastics that contain this type of plastic.
You can read the full story by clicking here.
However, I should note that the American Council on Science and Health is stating on their website that:
“Contrary to the authors' press release, they can't make a cause and effect link based on this because it's a cross-sectional (one-time) study, the farthest thing from a controlled trial. Further, the number of participants was tiny. And no one has addressed the absence of any biological basis for this ostensible link: if BPA is an 'estrogen mimicker' as these authors believe, why would tiny amounts of it 'cause heart disease'? The whole thing is overblown, and the media that trumpet this story are just hitching their wagon to anti-BPA activist groups.”
“Here we have the FDA teetering on their latest decision about BPA, and they see all these articles talking about heart disease and other bogus connections,” says Dr. Whelan. “They are under a lot of pressure from junk science on this.”
There's no denying that many medical and scientific studies have proven to be false over the years. However, with something like this, it's just too easy to be safe rather than sorry. I just threw out the one bottle with a #7 we had in the house.
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