The first national survey about bisphenol A (BPA) conducted by Statistics Canada has revealed that 91% of Canadians have a body burden of this chemical known to have hormone-like effects. Click here to read in further detail http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/statscan-survey-finds-bpa-present-in-91-per-cent-of-canadians/article1674153/. What does not mean? Honestly, no one knows because “we are the experiment.”
While the average BPA level in Canadians is just over 1 part per billion, it is a 1000 times more than natural estrogen levels in our body. This sampling is the largest done to date in the world. In this survey, Canadian teens were found to carry BPA levels about 30% higher than the rest of the population. That fact appears to make sense because teens eat more food (food is the major source of BPA) relative to their body size than any other population segment. Canadian children had the next highest levels of body burden of BPA. BPA is found in can liners for food and drinks, water-cooler bottles, baby bottles, flatware, as well as dental sealants and composite dental fillings. Cash registers are also a prolific source of BPA.
The chemical industry has called this data “reassuring.” According to U.S. BPA researcher Frederick vom Saal, “The fact that most people have the chemical BPA in their urine suggests they were having regular exposures in the 24 hours to 36 hours before their tests.” The chemical industry maintains that half of the BPA ingested in food is broken down into a harmless chemical without hormonal activity about every 6 hours. However, all would agree, we simply don’t know the long term effects of a population exposed to BPA. Because of the vast numbers of chemicals in our environment, food, and water, and the unknown effects of combination of these chemicals, we have truly become the experiment.
We do know that the possible effects of exposure to BPA include but are not limited to the following:
• reproductive tract changes that may be permanent
• testosterone decreases
• breast and prostate cancer cells predisposed to cancer
• hyperactive behavior
• prostate weight increase.
While Health Canada and the U.S. FDA and EPA fail to take action pending safety tests, it is critical to vote with our pocket books. And, take urgent action urged by ANH-USA for a Citizens Petition to ban BPA in cash register receipts. Click here to learn more https://secure3.convio.net/aahf/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=595. It is alarming that the FDA has failed to take action on a petition by ANH-USA to ban BPA in dental sealants in the mouths of children. Can we afford to potentially sacrifice our children’s health while further safety studies are conducted?
Deborah Ray, MT (ASCP)