(NaturalNews) A study published in this month's Environmental Health Perspectives found that perinatal exposure to toxic bisphenol-A (BPA) is linked to breast cancer later in life. Although literally hundreds of studies have shown BPA is poisonous to human health, this groundbreaking study is the first to confirm that developmental exposure to environmentally relevant bisphenol levels can cause malignant tumor formation.
Pregnant rats were treated with varying amounts of hormonally active BPA at doses comparable to typical human exposure throughout the study. Senior author Ana Soto said her team's findings were "unexpected": "We were measuring response to internal dose and looking for preneoplastic lesions. Instead, what we saw were full-blown tumors."
Despite overwhelming evidence that BPA is harmful to health, the chemical has been used in the production of epoxy resins and polycarbonates since the 1960s; ultimately the toxic substance winds up in everything from food cans to water bottles to cash register receipts.
Exposure to even a low BPA dose over time has been associated with a wide range of negative health effects, including abnormal male reproductive development, early sexual maturation in females, neurobehavioral problems, an increase in type 2 diabetes and obesity, endocrine disruption, autism spectrum disorders and hormonally mediated cancers such as breast cancer.
Canada was the first country to officially label bisphenol-A as a toxic substance in 2010. France took it a step further in 2012, voting to ban BPA in all food packaging materials by 2015. Both nations were fought every step of the way by the chemical industry that manufactures billions of pounds of BPA annually.
Just as with genetically modified food labeling, the U.S. lags behind the rest of the world in protecting its citizens from known dangers like BPA. After refusing to acknowledge BPA's detrimental health effects for years, the closest the government has come to protecting consumers from the carcinogenic substance was to ban it in baby bottles last summer. Just to be clear, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) spokesman Steven Immergut noted the decision to force BPA out of baby bottles did not equal a reversal of the agency's position on the chemical, which is that "BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods" - ignoring consideration of harmful cumulative effects altogether.
According to the FDA's statement on BPA, "Today there exist hundreds of different formulations for BPA-containing epoxy linings, which have varying characteristics. As currently regulated, manufacturers are not required to disclose to FDA the existence or nature of these formulations. Furthermore, if FDA were to decide to revoke one or more approved uses, FDA would need to undertake what could be a lengthy process of rulemaking to accomplish this goal."
In other words, because BPA has been allowed to so thoroughly inundate our environment, the FDA now says it would be a real hassle to have to remove the understood poison from our food packaging. They claim, however, to support companies that do so voluntarily (without denying that most companies will not remove BPA unless they are forced to).
With its high prevalence and horrible health effects, avoiding exposure through packages that allow the toxic substance to leach into food and drink is a must. BPA is found in hard plastics; food can liners and disposable cutlery are some of the worst bisphenol offenders. The Environmental Working Group also cautions people to avoid consuming liquids and hot foods that come in rigid, clear plastic packaging.
A multitude of studies have shown how harmful this chemical can be. If bisphenol-A can cause full-blown breast cancer in rats at levels similar to human exposure as this study shows, the extreme carcinogenic danger cannot be ignored.
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