Last week, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association about BPA and the risk of heart disease gives more power to the argument that BPA may indeed be hazardous to our health. BPA or biphenol-A, is a chemical used to make plastic hard, is widespread in the environment--from CD cases to water bottles and baby bottles. It is also used in the plastic liners of cans.
The problem, researchers have been saying for years, is that some of the BPA in plastic can leach out of the plastic and into our food or water--especially if the plastic is exposed to chemicals or high temperatures. Animal studies have linked BPA, which in the body can act like estrogen, to breast, prostate and reproductive system problems as well as a few types of cancer. A recent report also stated "some concern" as to the effects of BPA on the brains of fetuses. infants and children.
This study looked at more than 1400 adults and measured the level of BPA in their blood as well as chronic disease diagnosis, blood markers of liver function, glucose and a few other blood tests. The results showed that the higher amounts of BPA in the urine was associated with diagnosis of heart disease and diabetes. You can see the study at http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/300.11.1303
WHAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE HERE?
This study did not determine that high levels of BPA causes heart disease or diabetes--it only showed that there is an association. What it does do is point to BPA as a chemical we might want to have less of in our food supply until more research is done. Until then, choose food storage containers that don't have BPA:
Plastics with the recyclying code of 1,2 or 5.
Glass or ceramic
Plastics labeled "No BPA"
Forward thinking companies are rushing to the market with BPA free products, so it shouldn't be hard to find them!