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Science Bulletins: Plastic Ingredient Raises More Health Questions

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Published on Jul 2, 2012

A new statistical study has brought fresh scrutiny to the controversial chemical Bisphenol-A, or BPA. The United States produces more than 2 billion pounds of BPA per year for use in manufacturing a rigid plastic called polycarbonate, which is used in many consumer products such as food containers, eyeglass lenses, and CDs. Bisphenol A is also used in the resins that line most aluminum cans and some water pipes. Nearly every American is exposed to it. Babies and young children intake higher levels of it primarily because pound for pound, they breathe, eat, and drink more than adults.

Studies on animals have suggested that adverse health effects can arise from BPA exposure, especially for young, developing organisms. The recent research, which was conducted by a team at UK's University of Exeter, was the first large-scale human study. It found an association with BPA levels in Americans and the incidence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The findings call for independent confirmation as well more sophisticated studies of the mechanisms of BPA in the human body.

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