ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Health Tip: Anticipating Acupuncture
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
Scientists ID New Genes Tied to Crohn's Disease
CANCER
Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
CAREGIVING
Recession Scrambling Health Spending in U.S.
Caregiving May Lengthen Life
MRSA Infections Spreading to Kids in Community
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
DIET, NUTRITION
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Walkable Neighborhoods Keep the Pounds Off
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
Vitamin D Deficit May Trigger MS Risk Gene
EYE CARE, VISION
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
FITNESS
Football Can Shrink Players
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Vitamin D and Bone Health: Are You Getting Enough of This Important Vitamin?
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Protect Your Kids From Swine Flu While at Camp
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Add your Article

Controversial Chemical Lingers Longer in the Body


WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Bisphenol A, a controversial chemical used to harden plastics for consumer products such as baby bottles and food containers, appears to remain in the body much longer than thought, a new study says.

The finding suggests that exposure to BPA may come from many different sources, not just food products, or that the body doesn't metabolize the chemical as fast as has been thought, the researchers said.

The finding also adds to the controversy about the health consequences of exposure to the chemical, which some studies have linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease and developmental problems in children.

"What this study shows is that either we are getting exposed to a lot more BPA than we thought, or it's hanging around longer than we thought, or both," said lead researcher Dr. Richard W. Stahlhut, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Rochester Medical Center's Environmental Health Sciences Center, in New York.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration was criticized by some scientists -- including one of its own advisory panels -- after it said last August that BPA did not pose a health threat. By December, the agency had agreed to re-examine that earlier ruling.

For the new study, Stahlhut's team collected data on 1,469 people who participated in the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The researchers looked at the amount of BPA in urine and the length of time the participants had been fasting before the urine sample was taken.

Conventional wisdom says food is the most common source of BPA, and the body clears the chemical fairly quickly. The researchers expected to see less BPA in those who fasted the longest, compared to those who had eaten recently.

But, the researchers found that the levels of BPA in people who had fasted the longest were only moderately lower than in those who had just eaten. BPA levels dropped about eight times more slowly than expected, the scientists said.

One possibility is that people are exposed to more BPA than can be found in food alone, Stahlhut said, citing tap water or house dust as other sources. The other possibility is that BPA gets "hung up" in fat cells in the body, he said.

The findings were published online Jan. 28 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Stahlhut noted that BPA is used to harden plastics in many products, including plastic bottles, PVC water pipes and food-storage containers. It's also used to coat the inside of metal food cans and in dental sealants. It's even found in cash register receipts and recycled paper, he said.

About 93 percent of Americans have detectable levels of BPA in their urine, according to the CDC.

Fred vom Saal, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia Division of Biological Sciences, said more research is needed to determine all the ways people are potentially exposed to BPA.

"The finding is surprising and a little disturbing in that all assumptions about the safety of BPA made by regulatory agencies are based on the idea that we are primarily exposed to this from eating," vom Saal said. "These data are not consistent with that assumption.

An estimated 8 billion to 9 billion pounds of BPA are produced each year, according to vom Saal. His own research with animals has found that the chemical isn't cleared as fast as people had thought.

"There is a lot about this chemical, and the way we are exposed to it and the amount we are exposed to, that we don't know about," he said. "The levels of exposure have to be higher than people have been estimating."

Steven Hentges, executive director of polycarbonate/BPA global group at the American Chemistry Council, disagreed with the study. BPA is safe and is quickly eliminated from the body, he said.

Hentges noted that studies show that most BPA is excreted by the body within half an hour. "In addition, human exposure to BPA is extremely low," he said. "CDC data shows us that exposure is about 1,000 times below safe intake levels established from animal data."

More information

For more on BPA, visit the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.



SOURCES: Richard W. Stahlhut, M.D., M.P.H., postdoctoral fellow, Environmental Health Sciences Center, University of Rochester Medical Center, N.Y.; Steven Hentges, executive director, polycarbonate/BPA global group, American Chemistry Council, Arlington, Va.; Fred vom Saal, Ph.D., professor, reproductive biology and neurobiology, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia; Jan. 28, 2009, Environmental Health Perspectives, online

Last Updated: Jan. 28, 2009

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