ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Health Tip: Anticipating Acupuncture
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
CANCER
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
Mom's Smoking May Lead to SIDS
Health Tip: Benefitting From Adult Day Care
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
TV Food Ads Promote Bad Diets
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
Oregano Shown to be the Most Powerful Culinary Herb
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
FITNESS
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
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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