(NaturalNews) In spite of rising concern over the endocrine-disrupting effects of bisphenol-A (BPA), the chemical is still used in dental sealants that are strongly recommended by the American Dental Association.
BPA is used in a wide variety of industrial applications, including in the making of compact discs, polycarbonate plastic water and baby bottles, and the resins that line cans of food. The chemical is known to mimic the effects of the hormone estrogen, however, and has been linked to developmental, neurological and reproductive defects and increased risk of cancer. Although the FDA and EPA have yet to regulate it as a toxic substance, the National Toxicology Program concluded in a recent research review that there is indeed cause for concern over BPA's effects, particularly in children.
The issue with dental sealants -- syrupy substances applied to the cracks in teeth, hardened and then buffed smooth as a barrier to the bacteria that cause tooth decay. -- is the same as with plastic water bottles or the linings of cans: Under certain conditions, especially high temperatures, BPA is known to leach out of plastics and resins. Scientists believe that exposure to BPA from such sources is the reason that the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) has detected the chemical in the urine of 93 percent of all people tested.
Responding to concerns over BPA in dental sealants, American Dental Association consumer adviser Leslie Seldin dismissed "the BPA issue" as "minuscule in impact."
Not all dental sealants contain BPA or expose patients to equal amounts of chemical. In a 2006 study, researchers found that men who received Dentsply Ash's Delton Light Cure sealant were exposed to 20 times the BPA dose of men whose teeth had been sealed with Ivoclar Vivadent Helioseal F.
The study was conducted by researchers from the U.S. Public Health Service and the CDC, and published in the .