COLUMBIA, Mo. - In the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers report a significant relationship between urine concentrations of the environmental estrogen bisphenol A (BPA) and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities. In an accompanying editorial, Frederick vom Saal, a University of Missouri scientist, urges the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to follow recent action by Canadian regulatory agencies, which have taken significant steps to limit human and environmental exposures to BPA. Since 1997, research from vom Saal and other MU colleagues have shown adverse health effects of BPA at exposure levels below those currently considered safe by the FDA.
"Despite growing research that confirms BPA is dangerous to our health, the FDA and the European Food Safety Authority have chosen to ignore warnings from expert panels and other government agencies and have continued to declare BPA as 'safe,'" wrote vom Saal, who is a Curator's professor of biological sciences in MU's College of Arts and Science. "Further evidence of harm should not be required for regulatory action to begin the process of reducing exposure to BPA."
BPA is a one of the world's highest production-volume chemicals and is used to make hard plastic items such as: drinking glasses, baby bottles, food-storage containers, the lining of food and beverage containers, and dental sealants. Previous studies have shown adverse health effects of BPA on the brain and reproductive system, as well as metabolic diseases in laboratory animals. After a two-year review, the United States National Toxicology Program stated its concern that, at current levels of exposure, BPA posed a risk to human infants. The research published in JAMA is based on data from more than 1,450 Americans examined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and is the first major study linking BPA to diseases in humans, vom Saal said.
"The good news is that government action to reduce exposures may offer an effective intervention for improving health and reducing the burden of some of the most consequential human health problems," vom Saal said.
Vom Saal's editorial "Bisphenol A and Risk of Metabolic Disorders" is published in the Sept. 17 issue of JAMA and co-authored by John Peterson Myers. Vom Saal is a leading researcher in the effects of BPA exposure. He has written more than 20 articles on BPA.