Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Plastics and our health

What's Toxic In Toyland Time 1/3/06 Worth revisiting in light of the current BPA fight - also here. "The controversy centers on a family of chemicals called phthalates (pronounced "thalates"), which are used to soften vinyl, and on bisphenol A (BPA), a substance used to make clear and shatterproof plastic. Most are known to be so-called endocrine disrupters, capable of interfering with the hormones that regulate masculinity and femininity. Several hundred animal studies have linked phthalates to prostate and breast cancers, abnormal genitals, early puberty onset and obesity. More recently, they've been shown to affect humans as well. In a paper published last year in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several universities found that boys born to mothers with higher phthalate levels are far more likely to show altered genital development, linked to incomplete testicular descent. Harvard School of Public Health studies report that men with higher phthalate levels have lower sperm counts and damaged sperm DNA...The focus on BPA is new. Its use is widespread--it's found in dental sealants and the epoxy linings on food cans as well as in baby bottles. Studies in animals over the past five years have found that the substance, which mimics the human hormone estrogen, alters brain structure and chemistry as well as the immune system and reproductive organs. Some of these effects show up at extremely low doses, in some cases 2,000 times below the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) safety guideline, according to Frederick vom Saal, a University of Missouri endocrinologist. Chemical companies say the findings are not applicable to humans, but the federal National Toxicology Program has launched a reassessment of the safety standard. "The literature around BPA is very controversial," warns EPA scientist Earl Gray. "Next year's review should clarify things."..."

Our Stolen Future site - book on endocrine disruptors.

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

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