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New BPA Discovery Is Scary!

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It's bad enough when exposure to a potential toxin affects the person who is exposed. It's even more worrisome when exposure to a chemical affects not only the next generation but possibly future generations as well. That could well be the case with the ubiquitous chemical BPA (bisphenol A).

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have demonstrated that when female mice were exposed to levels of BPA before and during pregnancy, their offspring experienced measurable behavioral and neuronal changes. Bad enough, right? But the genetic changes were detectable in the second, third and even the fourth generation. The research was published in the journal Endocrinology (June 15, 2012)

The offspring of mice exposed to low levels of BPA can demonstrate impairment in cognitive function, aggressive behavior and anxiety. Studies in humans also suggest that prenatal exposure to this chemical may lead to hyperactivity, aggression, depression and anxiety in children.

The BPA doses in the University of Virginia study were not particularly high. The levels were comparable to those that humans experience on a daily basis. The authors of the research point out that human exposure to BPA is widespread and that 90% of us have detectable amounts of BPA in our urine on any given day.

Where does the BPA come from? Perhaps you thought the problems were solved when most manufacturers of water and baby bottles voluntarily removed BPA from the plastic they used to manufacture their unbreakable products. Au contraire. BPA is still found in many plastic products. It is also used in the resin that lines most of our food and beverage cans, including those used for soup, vegetables, beer and soft drinks. If you use canned tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce, chances are pretty good that you are getting a dose of BPA. Drink beer from a can and you can assume BPA is swallowed along with the suds. Pick up a receipt the next time you buy anything and there is a likelihood your fingers will be coated with BPA from the paper. Eat a sandwich or munch some chips after that, and your fingers are likely to transfer the BPA directly to your food.

If the mouse research is relevant to humans, our grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren could be affected by the BPA our daughters are consuming today. Even if we were to ban BPA tomorrow, the potential complications of today's exposure could last for generations.

It's not just their brains that could be affected. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrated that macaque monkeys exposed to BPA in utero had changes in their mammary glands. The tissues in exposed animals were denser, leading researchers to predict that BPA may predispose animals to breast cancer. This primate study reinforces previous concerns from rodent studies.

Despite growing evidence that low-level exposure to BPA could have serious and long-lasting health affects on humans, the Food and Drug Administration has concluded that the evidence of harm is not compelling enough to take any regulatory action. As a result there will be no restrictions on BPA in food packaging for the foreseeable future.

What are we to do? Given uncertainty about the safety of BPA we think the precautionary principle makes the most sense. That is why Japanese regulators required food manufacturers to remove BPA from the lining of food cans. Until the FDA follows a similar path, here are some steps you can follow:

• Use glass whenever possible instead of plastic to store food and beverages
• Try not to handle paper cash register receipts. Don't store them in your wallet or pocketbook.
• Any woman who is pregnant or might become pregnant should avoid food and beverages stored in metal cans unless there is a clear statement that the lining is BPA free.
• Young children should be protected from BPA as much as possible.


Implications of the latest research.

The authors conclude that:

"Because exposure to BPA changes social interactions at a dose within the reported human levels, it is possible that this compound has transgenerational actions on human behavior."


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I was already aware of much of the information in this article, but the idea that cash register receipts also contain traces of BPA was news to me. I find this quite alarming....think about taking your reciept just before eating in a fastfood restaurant? How much gets transferred to other surfaces? If it can be ingested? Is it also absorbed the the skin?

Excellent information.

I would like to see more information on what is safe and what is not safe to eat and do.

OK, now it's certain: it's just too dangerous to get out of bed in the morning... and probably the sheets are just BPA shrouds.So it's Goodbye dear world, I knew you when...

Well, I am not surprised. Think DDT. Think chlordane. Think lead in paint. Think transformer coolant (PCB).

When these compounds were introduced no one had any idea of the harm they would cause in the future. Since then literally TENS OF THOUSANDS more compounds have been added to our environment, the future impact of which we have no idea.

Do you think Roundup is safe in the quantities being used today? Have you heard a whippoorwill lately? Does your area have as many toads crossing the road as it used to? We are both the beneficiaries and the victims of our chemical soup. Why do you suppose that Alzheimer's is so prevalent today?

A detailed history of BPA can be found at
http://www.ewg.org/reports/bpatimeline

PS. Thanks for introducing Milk of Magnesia for use as a deodorant. It works GREAT. Keep 'em coming! At least I can pronounce the ingredients. (Is the bottle BPA free? :) )

Is it true that some European countries have outlawed the use of can linings that include BPA? If so, when was this done? Where has the research underlying the decision been published?

What about the plastic trays that come with frozen dinners? Also, the plastic storage containers that are sold by the millions? Is it in those?

This information is so relevant and I appreciate hearing about these topics, especially with the huge increase in the number of children with behavioral disorders. 1 in 6 children now have some sort of neurological disorder and I think I read that around 52% of children have some sort of chronic health diagnosis, NOT counting cancer. It's sad that babies born now do not even have a 50/50 chance of being healthy.

Last year the NIH with Stanford determined that over 50% of autism cases are attributable to environmental factors (of course they made that announcement on the Friday before the 4th of July when such news is lost among the holiday excitement) and a study at UC Davis revealed that only 6% of the huge increase in autism diagnosis was due to better diagnosis.

The President's Cancer Panel (appointed under Bush which finished/released its report under Obama, recommended we all be eating organic. BPA isn't exactly organic, is it? With these kind of statistics people should be paying very close attention to what kinds of chemicals we breath and put on our food and use in our food industry as well as what is in our hygiene products and pharmaceuticals. It's the kind of information we can apply on an individual basis that will improve our whole society, regardless of what the folks in Washington do or don't do.

I'm afraid that the remedy for this "budding" catastrophe will have to come from our "Big Brother"! In the meantime,.......

Regarding the question of wanting to know more about safety and prevention of cancer: consider the excellent book by David Servan-Schreiber "Anticancer A New Way Of Life." This is the most comprehensive book I've seen on the subject.

Information like this is why I always read your news letters. This information would be more productive to us if you also had some references or information as to who is influencing the Food and Drug Admin. or congress in stoping or reducing the use of BPA.

We need a site where people interested in contacting our congress people can be notified by you on issues like this and then we we could contact our representatives and voice our concern.

Do the cartons used for soup and almond and rice milk contain harmful chemicals such as BPA?

Could BPA and other harmful chemcicals explain the rise in anti-social behavior?

Could road rage, neighbors shooting neighbors, child bullies, parental and spousal abuse, indifference and rudeness, be increased by harmful chemicals? Could the changes to the brain explain the changes in behavior in this country?

Could it explain why so many people vote for politicians who vow to decrease the number of teachers, firemen, libraries, schools, deny access to medical treatment and destroy Medicare and Social Security? They vote against their own best interests. The politicians are effected by the chemicals too and may explain why we don't have better choices when we vote.

Observe news stories and look around you and see the changes that are occurring. Behavior is degrading along with the increase in chemcial pollution of our environment.

The toxic chemicals we breathe, eat, wear and touch have to damage us. And there are so many of these toxic chemicals we can't avoid them.

the FDA needs to address this issue now, not wait till there's a nation of sick people.

I would like to hear more. What ARE we to do with receipts?

This info is scary!! What can the ordinary citizen do re: the FDA?? Thanks for your help.
AMR

We are careful to avoid cans etc but what about the plastic freezer containers that we freeze food, tomatoes etc. Could you let us know which brands are safe?
Are ziplock bags also unsafe....we use them in the fridge all the time

We are so grateful you two are there
vg

You're probably at far more risk from ingesting the fast food you're purchasing than from the BPA on the receipt. Let's put these things into perspective! The BPA from can liners poses a far greater risk to public health.

Thank you for this informative article. I've noticed people often don't
believe this or take it causually. As a childbirth instructor I tell this
to my clients but get very little response. Anything that is a danger to
our children and our grandchildren's DNA must be understood and acted upon!
They are our treasure and hope for the future!!

Please continue to "shout this information until it is taken seriously".
Cheers to you! JH

ank you for this article of information.

it may be worse because think of all the people that handle the receipts during their daily jobs. some people may handle hunndreds/day.

I often buy soups, broths and alternative milks in the tall rectangular boxes. Now I'm wondering if they are coated with BPA like cans are. Or--like cans--do some have BPA and others not?

Also, what can we do to get industry to get rid of BPA on paper receipts? Finding a safe alternative for this seems like a no-brainer.

@ throwawaydad...be glad we have "Big Brother". Now if only "Big Brother" would stop knuckling under to the plastics industry lobbyists and do something.

I work for Talbots and after your last article on BPA on receipts I asked company admin to get BPA free register tape AND they did. All stores received BPA free paper just before the holidays. My company deserves credit for this. The public and retail workers have voices in this. Speak up to your company's. I see the cash register tape boxes. It is BPA free. Send emails to company's that use this stuff in cans.

With respect to the BPH on receipts--this is another reason for WASHING YOUR HANDS as soon as you come home from the store, before eating, or if handling the receipts when checking your credit card statement, etc. Clerks that handle those receipts should be issued plastic gloves, just like food handlers!

There is a safe alternative. The company I work for switched to BPA free paper last nov after I complained to them. I was amazed.

It's always important to know the "whole truth" about these studies. Did they expose the mice to an amount of BPA that is equivalent to the amount found in humans CONSIDERING THE HUGE DIFFERENCE IN BODY SIZE?


That's the key; are they comparing apples to apples?


Still, it could explain this disturbing trend in behavioral problems.


The only canned foods I ate as a child where from glass mason jars lovingly "put up" by my Mother.

ewg.org also talks about which plastics are bpa-free by having you look at the recycling numbers. http://www.ewg.org/bisphenol-a-info

The second to the last paragraph states, "Safer products and uses: When possible it is best to avoid #7 plastics, especially for children's food. Plastics with the recycling labels #1, #2 and #4 on the bottom are safer choices and do not contain BPA. Find baby bottles in glass versions, or those made from the safer plastics including polyamine, polypropylene and polyethylene. Soft or cloudy-colored plastic does not contain BPA. Bottles used to pump and store expressed breast milk by the brand Medela are also labeled BPA-free."

Though I also vaguely remember reading an article from some company that was researching BPA in their laboratories, and they said something about BPA possibly not being the only chemical in plastics to worry about. I'm sorry I don't remember my source. Just want to say to keep your ears open.

I see people asking for safe alternatives but the safe alternative is only safe until proven unsafe. Only a step back into an earlier generation, where metal and glass ruled the day, would provide a safer but more expensive alternative.

All too often these kinds of findings result in reader comments which is fine for awareness. However, every reader should then take it one step further and send an email to the FDA to ban such products. Upon receiving hundreds of thousands or millions of emails from consumers they will be forced to either ban or perform further studies on the affects of BPA on human health.

We live in a society that allows chemicals in the food and drink products that we consume and are assured by industry or government agencies that "....we don't think it will hurt you...." Funny but I seem to remember the same statements made about cigarette smoking and second hand smoke or the many, many, drugs that were removed from the market place years after their introduction to the general population. And all of this is geared to make the bottom lines of corporate ledgers more attractive.

So while comments on this venue are good take it one step further and air your concerns to an agency that can ban this and other similar products that gets into our bodies either thru food consumption or skin ingestion. As for me I will take a few glass breakages over the years and know that the food in these containers is pure.

It's a shame that the FDA only takes actions when the groundswell of public opinion forces it to do so. We've known this for a long time, and it should have come out together with the baby bottle ban a couple of years ago.

What purpose is BPA used for in the first place? Does it give some sort of advantages for production or storage or what? Are there many alternatives? And what else can you tell us about why BPA is used at all?

The person who thought that the above danger, BPA, might be contributing to the increase of Alzeimer's disease---------HEAR THIS !!!!!!
One of the reasons for the increase in Alzeimer's is THAT PEOPLE ARE LIVING MUCH LONGER.
FIfty years ago, people lived to about 65 (that's why they set 65 as the age to collect social security).
Today, people are living into their nineties!!!! When I was a child, I don't remember ANYONE reaching the age of 80, and everyone knows that Alzeimer's disease occurs at advanced ages.

Since I missed your radio program,this was certainly an interesting email. I have been trying to use glass containers for quite a while, but occasionally use a can of something or another/less and less after this.

Thank you. I am 82 years old and living a healthy active life/ don't plan to stop everything anytime soon. Thanks for all you do.

Don't wait for the FDA to act. Instead sent a letter or e-mail to the makers of the products you purchase. Ask them which of their products are in containers that have BPA. Tell them that you will only purchase those that are BPA free. THEN DO IT! One does not need to be nasty. Companies welcome ideas that will help them sell more product.

I would like to respond to the comment about alzheimers and people living longer and longer. That is not necessarily true. Of course there are a lot more women not dying from childbirth and more men not dying from war wounds, and since the introduction of antibiotics and vaccines and hygiene in healthcare, a lot more people not dying from infections and communicable diseases, but even then.

My mother just died at 80, her mother lived to be 97, hers 102, hers, supposedly 106. As you can see, the trend is the other way around, at least among the women of my family. My mother died of Parkinsons, and that disease might be caused by toxins in the environment, maybe BPA among them.


Some well known brands of plastic freezer bags say on the box that they are BPA free.

How can I tell if BPA is in the plastic of most plastic containers? Is there a brand that is BPA-free? What about covering something in the microwave with a plastic cover (made for that purpose)? How can I tell?

When I go to a fast food place, I look to see if the food preparer is wearing plastic gloves...Could these gloves also contain BPA?

What about yogurt, cottage cheese, whipped butter, whipped cream cheese containers? OMG!!

I agree. Anti Cancer, A New Way of Life, is a remarkable book.
I am a two-time cancer survivor and I follow his book completely. For example, I don't even have sugar in the house. The author, David Servan-Schreiber, M.D. PhD, lived 19 years with brain cancer, then when he failed to follow his own advice and became stressed and did not eat right while promoting this book in various countries, his cancer grew out of control and killed him.

While he was dying in France he wrote another book for us, Not The Last Goodbye. When I learned he had died in 2011, I was so sad because it was losing a close friend. I will always follow his teachings and be grateful he took the time to write this to extend out lives.

I, too, have wondered if BPA is used in those cartons which hold soups, soymilk/almond milk, etc. The inner lining DOES have a metallic color, and DOES appear to be coated with something slick. It is SO HARD to follow up on each and every little thing to find out if something has BPA!

I did ask Trader Joe's, and they gave me a list of everything they carry that has BPA, which is now only a few items. Very helpful. As a rule, canned foods labeled "organic" aren't supposed to have any BPA in the linings. Also, most places I call do assure me that "BPA-free can linings are just around the corner; we're working on it!" So that's good.

Re the BPA in cash-register receipts: I read a terrifying study that strongly indicated that the BPA on receipts is, like, a hundred times worse than even in the cans! And it stays on your fingers even after washing! If true, those supermarket checkers are in big trouble.

Perspective, folks. There might be excellent reasons to reduce exposure to BPA, but notice that the article presents not a shred of evidence -- not even weak correlations -- suggesting that changes in human behavior are linked to BPA exposure.

On the other hand, there are things that we do know. (1) Stupidity and brutality have been documented as widespread in BPA-free societies for millennia. (2) There are prenatal exposures that we know for a fact have huge cognitive and behavioral consequences: in particular, alcohol. (3) Parental neglect of kids (in particular, turning kids over to visual media) is known to have significant cognitive and behavioral impacts.

Josh. Perspective. Remember we didn't have a shred of evidence about second hand smoke and cancer until too many people were exposed to it. I even had a HR manager (smoker) at work reject my open door letter regarding second hand smoke in meeting rooms as he said "......... there is no evidence of second....." He died several years later of lung cancer.

The point being is that no one wants any additives in food that shouldn't be there. And just because we haven't found connection between BPA and an illness to date isn't a reason to include these chemical compounds in our food products. A human body ingests and breaths more unwanted stuff than it was designed to handle. Maybe you don't care but I certainly care about what I eat and drink. And BPA isn't necessary. Give me a good ole glass jar any day of the week over canned or plastic containers. Let me worry about the one jar I break a year.

with regard to BPA write your elected officials in Washington requesting that containers be marked as to BPA ...the market place will decide decide the outcome

Jim

Today many of the companies who have been marketing plastic food and water containers for decades have now started offering plastic containers free of bisphenol-A (BPA) along with several new companies who also claim their products are free of this endocrine-disrupting plastic chemical. However I'm very concern that many of the manufacturers have just simply shifted to bisphenol-S, a different—but equally toxic and perhaps even more toxic—chemical called bisphenol-S (BPS).

How prevalent is this?
I've started seeing liquid foods being offered in those rectangular "juice" type containers - are they truly free of BPA? Are they free of BPS? I've begun to send my concerns to companies who manufacture and market BPA free plastic water and food containers and am waiting for their replies.

Although I use glass containers to store my water in once I bring it home I use plastic in transporting it and sometimes it will be a day or so before I transfer the water to glass bottles so I would like to make sure that the new multi gallon plastic water bottle is free of not only BPA but also BPS.

Thank you to Joe and Terry - they and their website/radio show are indispensable!

Carla, I think Anti-Cancer book is keeping me alive.
Great book. I don't agree with a only very few of the things such as consuming dairy, but nearly all of the book is sound and scientifically based on current knowledge. He gave us a great gift. He loved fine cheeses and that was his weakness he said, and I can understand that because fine, runny French cheeses are very tempting.

And when the book became internationally popular, he traveled the world to spread the word and as a result he was stressed and could not eat right and he believed that is why his cancer took over and killed him.

I still mourn his death, it is like we all lost a friend. He told us his scientific findings and his personal flaws and I think everyone loved him. I hope you have read his last book, "Not the Last Goodbye."
Barbara in Houston

Yes, BPA from receipts are absolutely absorbed to your skin. I read an article about it. Cashiers who wasn't wearing gloves for two hours showed high level of BPA in their urine compared to the other group who were wearing gloves. This is pretty alarming, isn't it?

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