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BPA Associated with Increased Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes
Wednesday, 13 January 2010 09:33

According to results of a new study conducted by researchers in the United Kingdom and published online by the journal PLoS ONE, Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical commonly used in the plastic products and packaging, is associated with significantly increased risks of coronary heart disease and diabetes. The study included nearly 3000 adults between the ages of 18 and 74 years who participated in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2003 and 2006.



After adjusted statistical models for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, income, smoking, BMI, waist circumference, and urinary creatinine concentration, the researchers found that across study years individuals with higher BPA concentrations were at a 42% increased risk for coronary heart disease and at a 24% increased risk for diabetes.


BPA is used primarily in the production of plastics and resins that are often used in food and drink packaging and to coat metal products including the inside of food cans, bottle tops, and as coatings inside water supply lines. BPA is also used in some recycling applications and in some dental sealants. 


BPA is an endocrine disruptor and as such, even at low doses, research suggests it may be able to mimic the body’s own hormones. Animal studies have consistently shown that BPA exposure increases the risk of poor pregnancy outcomes and can permanently impair the ability to reproduce. Many states have moved to restrict the use of BPA in baby bottles and some other food containers. Such exposure is likely responsible for most BPA exposure in humans although exposure via use of canned food may also be problematic. Recent testing by Consumer Reports found BPA levels higher than expected in commonly used canned foods.


Consumers can avoid BPA exposure by limiting their use of canned goods including canned soft drinks and by consuming beverages from glassware and stainless steel bottles and by using glass or metal containers for food storage and ceramic or glass containers for microwave heating. Avoiding certain plastic wraps during storage and heating can also reduce BPA exposure levels.


Related Living the Science Features: Reevaluate Your Relationship with Plastics


Recommended Reading and Products:

What's In This Stuff?: The Hidden Toxins in Everyday Products - and What You Can Do About Them
"A Hugely useful resource for identifying products with hidden toxins that could affect your health."

Stainless Steel Water Bottles

"Having some of these around will prevent you from buying the small plastic water bottles. You will avoid the BPA exposure and do the planet a favor. Prices range from about $10 to $40. has pretty good prices but you can pick them up just about anywhere."


Non-Plastic Food Containers

"Having glass storage containers around is your insurance policy against heating things up in plastics which can leach BPA. Again, has pretty good darn prices on these but you can pick up sets at Target, Walmart etc... ."

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