Tuesday, December 12, 2006

xenoestrogens & bisphenol A

Last night in my environmental anthropology course, one of my classmates reported on incidents linking the rising numbers of breast cancer and diabetes (as well as many other health problems) to the release of estrogen levels from...plastic. Studies have shown that some plastics leach hormones into the things they contain (soda, water, foods, etc.).

"In April 1999, Consumers Union confirmed information previously reported by the Food and Drug Administration regarding 95 percent of baby bottles sold in the United States. The bottles, made of a hard plastic known as polycarbonate, leach out the synthetic estrogen named bisphenol-A, especially when heated or scratched [...] A 1993 report published in Endocrinology showed that bisphenol-A produced estrogenic effects in a culture of human breast cancer cells. [Additional studies] have detected leaching of bisphenol-A from polycarbonate products such as plastic tableware, water cooler jugs, and the inside coatings of certain cans (used for some canned foods) and bottle tops. Autoclaving in the canning process causes bisphenol-A to migrate into the liquid in cans [...] In Denmark, the rate of testicular cancer increased by 300 percent from 1945 to 1990. Intrauterine exposure to xenoestrogens during testicular development is thought to be the cause. [...] Perhaps one of the most disturbing current trends is the alarming increase in breast cancer incidence. Fifty years ago, the risk rate was 1 woman in 20; today it is 1 in 8. Numerous studies have implicated xenoestrogens as the responsible agents."

More information:
Science News Online
Mindfully . org
FWHC . org

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