(NaturalNews) As Canada considers banning bisphenol A (BPA) in all infant products, a leading BPA researcher warns that even this unprecedented measure does not go far enough.
"If it's hard and clear and doesn't say 'No BPA,' don't use it," said Frederick vom Saal of the University of Missouri-Columbia.
BPA is used as an ingredient in polycarbonate plastic products, such as infant and water bottles, to make them hard and translucent. It is also used in the liners of food cans. Because BPA has been known to disrupt the hormonal system, leading to behavioral and developmental problems and cancer in animals, health advocates have raised concern over the possibility that the chemical could leak from cans or plastic containers into people's food and water. Heat in particular appears to increase the rate at which the chemical leaches out.
More than 90 percent of people over the age of six test positive for BPA in the body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Vom Saal noted that numerous animal studies have linked BPA to behavioral changes such as ADHD or altered play, and to sex problems such as decreased sperm count, feminization of males, and prostate cancer.
"All of this is occurring at exposures in animals that lead to blood levels that I guarantee are below what are in your body," he said. "No level has ever been found in animal experiments that doesn't cause harm."
Mel Suffet, a public health professor and environmental chemist from the University of California-Los Angeles, urged consumers to avoid products made with BPA.
"Why use something with a potential danger?" he said. "It's kind of silly. Better safe than sorry."
Vom Saal agreed, noting, "There are alternatives to everything made from BPA."
Ways to limit BPA exposure include avoiding any polycarbonate plastics (recycle code 7), and instead using glass, porcelain or stainless steel. The National Toxicology Program also recommends eating fewer canned foods.
Those who do use polycarbonate plastics should keep them out of the microwave or dishwasher and void putting hot food or liquid into them.
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