For an industrial chemical released into the environment at more than 1 million pounds a year, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that bisphenol A also shows up in humans. Four years ago, researchers discovered that BPA, which is used in plastic manufacturing, was present in nearly 93 percent of the US population’s urine.

So it’s disturbing that a growing body of scientific literature suggests that BPA disrupts the body’s hormones. Exposure to the chemical has been associated with risk for obesity, breast cancer, prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, infertility, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, and neurological problems.

But the worst part for researchers can be trying to narrow down confounding factors and figure out how BPA makes its way into the body. If these chemicals are everywhere at once—in can linings, soft plastic, as well as leaching into the air and food—how can we even begin to study exposure?

via What Can We Learn From Mennonites’ Pee Samples? | Mother Jones.

4 thoughts on “What Can We Learn From Mennonites’ Pee Samples? | Mother Jones

  1. In your research, did you find any information with cleansing the human body from BPA?

    I’m amazed that the researchers haven’t tried to determine if the hormonal disruption and neurological issues are related in any way to autism, Aspergers and any number of other “unknown source” diseases. Seems a likely candidate for study to me.

  2. The only thing I seem to be able to find anywhere talks about general detox. I cannot find anything to determine which methods are best, if any at all. One study showed that years after specifically trying to get away from BPA, the subjects of the test still had relatively high amounts. There is also a potential link to prostate cancer, although no one is currently studying that. So it might seem that we already are the victims of something that may not be “curable” for lack of a better term. Scary stuff…

    1. Do you suppose that there are few studies about mitigating exposure because it is not yet officially recognized, at least by the FDA, as toxic? The FDA has rejected a petition to ban BPA from food packaging, citing insufficient evidence of adverse effects. Rather than err on the side of caution, the FDA is taking a “wait and see” approach to protect an 8 billion dollar industry.

      The single best way to reduce BPA exposure would be to remove it from food packaging. This would still not remove all exposure, as plastics degrading release more BPA into the environment and the compound is present in a host of other items to which we come in contact daily-everything from receipts to PCs, eyeglasses, cds… The ocean is FULL of degraded polycarbonates, meaning that sea creatures are contaminated with BPA as well.

      BPA is removed from the body through the liver, but as concentrations increase beyond the ability of the liver to excrete it, toxicity occurs. You can imagine that a fetus or small baby will be greatly affected by a smaller dose of this endocrine disruptor. There really is nothing to do but reduce our exposure to it, from all of the information I have gathered. This is going to be impossible without eschewing most modern conveniences, as the Mennonites do. After over 40 years of use, BPA is still going to be around in the environment even if we outright ban it. Even if we had a means to remove it from our bodies, we would constantly be re-exposed. It makes me not want to think about it any longer. What can we do? Not much.

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