Plastic is light, disposable and makes our life easier. Before you stock up on bottled water or other plastic coated packaged goods, consider the health as well as environmental impact. Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to manufacture rigid plastic used to make infant feeding bottles, plates, mugs, jugs, beakers, microwave oven ware and storage containers. Another common use is internal protective linings for cans and metal lids and coatings for water storage tanks and wine vats. BPA can migrate in small amounts into foods and beverages stored in materials containing the substance.
Some studies indicate that BPA may have an effect on brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children and a recent study on September 16, 2008 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) the authors concluded that “higher urinary concentrations of BPA were associated with an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and liver-enzyme abnormalities. “ BPA is known to act like a mild estrogen. Infants and children are developing their immune and detoxification systems and may be more vulnerable, however it begs the question are older or impaired adults whose immunologic and detoxification systems are on the decline also at risk? We won’t know for sure for a while, and it is unclear what effects long term, low-level exposures have on different populations.
Studies can conflict with each other and be confusing. As stated in an FDA press release, “Studies employing standardized toxicity tests used globally for regulatory decision making thus far have supported the safety of current low levels of human exposure to BPA. However, results of recent studies using novel approaches and different endpoints describe BPA effects in laboratory animals at very low doses corresponding to some estimated human exposures. Many of these new studies evaluated developmental or behavioral effects that are not typically assessed in standardized tests.”
At this interim stage, FDA shares the perspective of the National Toxicology Program that recent studies provide reason for some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. FDA also recognizes substantial uncertainties with respect to the overall interpretation of these studies and their potential implications for human health effects of BPA exposure.
In the interim until all of this is sorted out, you can educate yourself and avoid or limit your exposure to foods stored in plastic or plastic lined cans. Heat foods in glass or stainless steel, use stainless steel water bottles, eat fresh or frozen food, only microwave in ceramic or glass containers, breast feed infants or read more about the subject to make informed decisions. If your immunologic and detoxification systems are impaired or slowing down, seek nutritional support, and supplements to enhance their function as well as expert advice.
Dr. Lorraine Maita has expertise in nutrition and supplements and is a Diplomate in The American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine and Internal Medicine. She specializes in lifestyle, stress management, exercise, nutrition, supplements, bioidentical hormone replacement, neurocognitive function and executive physicals in Short Hills, NJ