As John Steinbeck puts it in his famous novel, the “trouble with mice is you always kill ‘em”. So, yet again, we are talking about mice. Why? Because the latest study from the University of Michigan claims that there is a “significant association” between BPA exposure and the development of cancer – in mice. The study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives and echoed by many online and print media, claims to have found liver tumors in mice exposed via their mothers during pregnancy and nursing.
Most interestingly, the scientists behind the study themselves admitted that more research is needed to determine the implications of their findings for human health. This means that the present study is not sufficient to make any of the strong claims reported by media. Let’s see why exactly this is the case.
The data reported in this study could not be reproduced by a larger and more comprehensive study in another laboratory. I strongly believe that before any findings can be taken into further consideration, they should be reproducible and verified by additional tests. This, however, has not been the case thus far with regards to the University of Michigan study.
As noted, the authors themselves recognise the limitations of their findings: “The limitations of this model are similar to that of any animal model, in that no direct conclusions can be drawn from this study on human health risk,…
Imagine you were baking a cake but used your ingredients incorrectly. You followed the measurements to the tee and yet what resulted was a pretty poor cake. We’ve all been there; nevertheless, this metaphorical allusion as you can imagine is not about that tasty sidekick to your morning coffee, but rather a comment on the recent and serious claims published by Health Affairs.
To set the context, Health Affairs recently published a study which noted that health care spending in the United States has surged more than eightfold since the 1960s and speculated that much of the responsibility lies on the shoulders of synthetic chemicals, including Bisphenol A. According to the author, Leonardo Trasande of NYU, “BPA exposure was estimated to be associated with … childhood obesity and … coronary heart disease, with estimated social costs of $2.98 billion [USD] in 2008”; removing BPA from food contact uses, he concluded, could result in annual economic benefits of $1.74 billion USD. While the study focused on US figures, it saw European media and even Swedish MEP Åsa Westlund rush to conclusions, expressing the need to “act now” and remove BPA at EU level as “these potentially large health and economic benefits could outweigh the costs of using a safer substitute for BPA”.
Now we understand the need to ensure the health and safety of citizens, it’s prerequisite for government and of course any res…
Once again, interesting science on BPA is coming from Sweden. In December 2013, we discussed the joint study by KEMI, the National Food Authority (NFA) and the National Housing Board that confirmed the safety of BPA in water pipes lining.
Today, NFA announced the publication of a new paper by its own scientists that sheds some important light on the relevance and validity of blood sampling analysis in relation to BPA.
The paper concludes that the high levels of Bisphenol A levels found in the blood of people, and reported in previous studies, were most probably the result of contaminated blood sampling equipment – hence their conclusion that “studies on Bisphenol A [are] misleading”. In an uncontaminated environment, BPA levels in blood were found to be extremely low, well below the detection limit set by the researchers (0.2 nanograms/ml, i.e. the equivalent of a fifth of a millionth of a milligram = 0.2 million times smaller than a grain of salt !).
This very rigorous scientific work demonstrates further how cautious one should be with the use of BPA measurement in blood as an indication of contamination by BPA. The BPA presence in urine is a much more accurate indicator, and urine-based studies consistently confirm that BPA is safely excreted after being converted by the liver into a kind of sugar.
What this study also proves is that the many studies which have tested BPA at microgram level (microgram = …
Earlier today the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published the second part of its draft scientific opinion on BPA. The draft opinion, to complement its predecessor (for an overview, click here), focuses on human health risks, and will remain open to public consultation until 13 March 2014. Given its importance to EFSA’s full assessment of BPA – the final version of the opinion will be published later this year – we figured a helpful overview of the main points and conclusions reached in the draft opinion would be useful:
- EFSA reported that exposure even for the highest exposed groups in the population remains well below a newly proposed temporary Tolerable Daily Intake (t-TDI) of 5 μg/kg bw per day. In layman’s terms, this indicates that the health concern for BPA is low at current exposure levels.
- According to EFSA’s Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF), health risks for all population groups is low – this means that current levels of exposure are not only safe for healthy adults but also to the most vulnerable, including foetuses exposed during pregnancy, infants, young children and the elderly. The opinion highlights this is because the highest estimates for combined oral and non-oral exposure to BPA are 3-5 times lower than the proposed t-TDI, depending on the age group; for all population groups, oral exposure on its own is more than 5-fold be
Though we all wish we could spend our holidays with our closest friends and families, this is not always possible. Thanks to modern technology, however, we’re able stay in touch with loved ones despite being miles apart.
But why think of BPA when you’re making that “Happy New Year” phone call? It may come as a surprise but the housing of your phone is made with polycarbonate, of which BPA is an indispensable component. Phone cases made from polycarbonate greatly contribute to the overall quality of the phone through strength, toughness and heat resistance while the polycarbonate film with BPA makes your screen scratch-proof – such properties make our phones the perfect means of communications with friends and family when distance stands in the way of face-to-face communication.
So whether you’re on the phone this Christmas Eve with your relatives or your long-distance friends, don’t forget to wish them happy holidays from the BPA Coalition.…