Study says BPA disrupts fetal development

By Jeremy Carroll
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: October 11, 2013 1:13 pm ET
Updated: October 11, 2013 1:17 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Materials
Companies & Associations American Chemistry Council

A review of several dozen studies says prenatal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) disrupts fetal development and could set the stage for later-life diseases, but the American Chemistry Council called the paper “narrow” and “selective.”

The paper was released by the Breast Cancer Fund, an advocacy group that has lobbied to eliminate all BPA from food products. In food, BPA is most commonly found in canned foods as a barrier to help protect against spoilage and contamination.

BPA is one of the most thoroughly tested chemicals used today, “and has a safety track record of 50 years,” said Steven Hentges of ACC’s polycarbonate/BPA global group.

“Unlike the narrow, selective review undertaken by the Breast Cancer Fund, major regulatory agencies worldwide have thoroughly reviewed the extensive scientific evidence and have consistently reached the same conclusion — that BPA is safe at the trace levels found in food products,” Hentges said in a statement provided to Plastics News. “In fact, the United States Food and Drug Administration recently reaffirmed this conclusion by clearly stating that BPA is safe based on the agency’s recent review of its research and hundreds of other studies, and continues to support the use of BPA in food containers and packaging.”

Sharima Rasanayagam, co-author of the paper and director of science for the Breast Cancer Fund, disagreed; saying their review of the issue covered more than 60 studies on prenatal exposure to BPA. The various studies ranged from those on rodents to rhesus monkey fetuses and association studies in humans babies.

“The bottom line is active BPA, which is acting like estrogen, is getting through the placenta barrier and getting to the babies in the womb,” Rasanayagam said. “And we’re seeing association studies with humans and experimental studies with animals that are showing future effects on health of the offspring.”

The paper said BPA reaches the fetus through the mother’s bloodstream, and “while the mother’s body partially metabolizes BPA before it reaches the fetus, strong evidence indicates that the fetus is exposed to the active, estrogenic form of BPA.”

The placental barrier does not protect the fetus from exposure to the more potent, active form of BPA, the paper said. The report said human studies document the presence of BPA in various maternal and fetal fluids and tissues. Ten studies found BPA in human fetal tissues, including cord blood and plasma, the paper reported.

BPA has been taken out of baby bottles and infant formula containers, but Rasanayagam said that is not far enough, calling for BPA eliminated completely from human consumption.

“We’d like to see BPA taken out of the food chain, from food packaging,” she said. “Also whatever they replace BPA with needs to be tested for safety because we don’t to have a regrettable substitution. We’re pushing for safer alternatives to be used.”

In a telephone interview with Plastics News, Hentges said the Breast Cancer Fund “cherry picked” data of the hundreds, possibly thousands, of reports on BPA.

“The Breast Cancer Fund report is really just a summary of the studies they have cherry picked that support the conclusion they want to reach,” he said. “It’s not a scientific analysis. It’s nothing remotely close to what government agencies like the FDA would do.”


Comments

Study says BPA disrupts fetal development

By Jeremy Carroll
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: October 11, 2013 1:13 pm ET
Updated: October 11, 2013 1:17 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Ferro sells another piece of its plastics business

December 19, 2014 3:33 pm ET

Ferro Corp. has sold its North American polymer additives business to a private equity firm for $154 million in cash.    More

Image

Antimicrobial polymers firm TiFiber launching pilot production in Ark.

December 19, 2014 10:58 am ET

TiFiber Inc., which makes synthetic compounds to control dangerous microorganisms, will locate a pilot production facility and its future company...    More

Image

Patel named LyondellBasell CEO

December 19, 2014 9:56 am ET

Bhavesh V. “Bob” Patel has been named CEO of Houston-based polyolefins producer LyondellBasell Industries NV, effective Jan. 12.    More

Image

Momentive to get a new name in January

December 19, 2014 9:45 am ET

Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. will change its name to Hexion Inc., effective Jan. 15.    More

Image

Thailand's SCG Chemicals buying Norwegian chemical firm Norner

December 19, 2014 9:11 am ET

Thailand's SCG Chemicals Co. Ltd. has announced it has acquired 51 percent of the shares in the independent petrochemical company Norner Holding AS fr...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events