Plastics: CDC reveals 92.6% exposure to Bisphenol A. Children and adolescents at highest risk.
November 9, 2007
Evidence that a component of certain plastics causes health problems in animals has raised concerns that the chemical may pose a health threat to humans. Scientific studies with laboratory animals over the past 10 years have identified a series of adverse effects that implicate low-level exposure to BPA in a range of human health problems, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, spontaneous miscarriage, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The chemical, bisphenol-A (BPA), is used to produce polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins and is found in such products as water bottles, baby bottles, food containers, compact discs, and dental sealants. Humans are exposed to this high-production–volume chemical when it leaches into foods or possibly through inhalation or other routes.
Center for Disease Control/October 2007
Background: Bisphenol A (BPA) and 4-tertiary-octylphenol (tOP) are industrial chemicals used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins (BPA) and nonionic surfactants (tOP).
These products are in widespread use in the United States.
Objectives: To assess exposure to BPA and tOP in the U.S. general population.
Methods: We measured the total (free plus conjugated) urinary concentrations of BPA and tOP in 2517 participants ≥ 6 years old in the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey using automated solid-phase extraction coupled to isotope dilution-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.
Results: BPA and tOP were detected in 92.6% and 57.4% of the persons, respectively. Least square geometric mean (LSGM) concentrations of BPA were significantly lower in Mexican Americans than in non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites; LSGM concentrations for non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites were not statistically different. Females had statistically higher BPA LSGM concentrations than males. Children had higher concentrations than adolescents, who in turn had higher concentrations than adults. LSGM concentrations were lowest for participants in the high household income category (> $45,000/year).
Conclusions: Urine concentrations of total BPA differed by race/ethnicity, age, sex, and household income. These first U.S. population representative concentration data for urinary BPA and tOP should help guide public health research priorities, including studies of exposure pathways, potential health effects, and risk assessment.
What you can do:
*Learn to identify polycarbonate plastic containers. They are generally clear and rigid, and may have the recycling symbol 7 marked on the bottom.
*Select bottles made of tempered glass or polyethylene or polypropylene (recycling symbols 1, 2 or 5)
To purchase alternative, safe baby bottles go to: