Environment >> Common Plastics Related to Breast Cancer and Other Conditions
Common Plastics Related to Breast Cancer and Other Conditions
Bisphenol A, or BPA, in plastic products is linked to breast cancer.

Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical found in a wide range of items we use in our everyday lives - from plastic bottles (like baby bottles and water bottles) to the lining of canned food. Many researchers, including Professor Fred Vom Saal, a leading authority at the University of Missouri, believe BPA is very dangerous to our health. In fact, Vom Saal says BPA is a more dangerous threat than asbestos or even lead paint, simply because it is more widespread.

According to an interview with Vom Saal on KSDK-TV in St. Louis, BPA can lead to a variety of cancers as well as other conditions such as infertility, immune system problems, and brain function. Vom Saal's main concern was the effect of BPA on unborn babies. Because BPA is in many of the plastics a woman may come in contact with while pregnant, she may be unknowingly passing this dangerous chemical on to her unborn child. In the interview, Vom Saal likens BPA to a time bomb, the effects of which will not be known until later in life when it may be expressed as a "potentially incurable disease."

One potential disease is breast cancer. Certain forms of breast cancer are related to the amount of estrogen produced by the body throughout a woman's life. Since BPA mimics estrogen, it has the potential to promote cancer cell growth. Furthermore, researchers were amazed at how small of an amount of BPA it took to alter the behavior of a cell in tests. Hopefully this new research will encourage the removal of BPA from the production of plastic.

In the meantime, Vom Saal suggests consumers discard any clear plastic containers with the number 7 printed on the bottom and look for products that specify "BPA Free" on the packaging.

References and Other Resources:

Hamilton, Doug: "Fooling with Nature," Frontline.

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