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Introduction and history of Bisphenol A
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a term used to refer to a certain pedigree of plastic chemical. This plastic chemical was invented nearly twenty years ago and presently used in large quantities in the production of hard plastic water bottles and epoxy linings of metal food cans such those used for infant canned formula. Even though it has been used for a long period of time use in making consumer products, it is not clear whether it is safe to use. But in accordance to general studies conducted in the last twenty years indicate that it is ubiquitous pollutant which contaminates nearly 95% of the whole populace.
In September 2008, the National Toxicology Program of NIH came up with a consideration that BPA may have greater consequences to the development of human beings. It was noted that it also led to early puberty, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and it also led to some behavioral as noted in early life exposure. It was also noted that infant children, pregnant women are usually most vulnerable to these harmful effects of BPA. In the current studies, it was clear that BPA also led to the development of diabetic concerns, toxicity of the liver, and some of the heart diseases.
However, FDA has yet come up with ways of addressing the safety standards and the Congressional investigation have been initiated to clear the air on industry influence of government science appraisal, and through the same body, Wal-Mart is also pushing for its exposure to the general public. Through various reports, it is clear that this chemical pose greater harm to the general public’s health. Unfortunately, those industries that trade on these products are really stressing on the manufacture of the product even though it has diverse effects on human health. This is really harmful to the general health of individuals who are exposed to it in the society varying from children to adults.
The first hundred years- widespread exposures unknown risks
Chemists synthesized the chemical Bisphenol in the laboratory in 1891. In 1930, it was indicated by scientists that that BPA is an artificial estrogen; this was the first substantiation of the toxicity of BPA. With the invention of another systematic chemical, the use of BPA as a pharmaceutical hormone was overturned by the invention of DES which was later avoided after the scientists noticed that it posed greater harm to the health of girls with reproductive cancer. In 1940 and 1950s, new use of BPA in plastic, the chemical industry begins to use BPA in manufacturing of hard plastic called polycarbonate and epoxy resins that was used as linings for metal food cans. Later on in seventy years of use, it was noted that it was very dangerous in making of products such as bicycle helmets, water coolers and baby bottles. In 1976, the regarding to regulation of usage of this substance fails to establish its safety. Congress managed to passes Toxic Substance Control Act which was the first law in the United States to regulate industrial chemicals. In 1982, Toxicity plans determines that the lowest adverse level (LOAEL) for BPA in laboratory animals is 1000 parts per million. This study becomes the ground for the EPA’s 1988 safety standards which ha been in place for many years. As published in the interim, BPA toxicity was published but appeared to lower.
In 1988, the EPA standard of BPA is up to twenty five times higher than harmful levels. By this time also the United States came up with safety standards or reference dose for BPA base on unfinished oil. High dose BPA studies indicated that it reduced body weight when exposed to animals. This process led to establishment of the standards in 1988 which was later reaffirmed in 1993. During this period also the EPA or the agency fails to update the standards in order to reflect on the new information concerning harmfulness of the substance.
In March 13, 1996, the first FDA assessment of Americans’ exposure to BPA to adults proves to be harmful. Thereafter the memorandum from FDA technical staff estimated that though contaminated canned food adults are exposed to higher risks of being contaminated by BPA with an estimated 7 micrograms in a day. In March 1997, just four years after its reaffirmation of its safety standard, Fred Von Saal at the University of Missouri in Columbia comes up with a finding that low level of exposure to Bisphenol A is harmful to prostate. During this period also the government tests the rate of contamination that is poised to infant formula. BPA in excess found that it was found that BPA was harmful to the development of prostate, early puberty, breast, behavior, but certainly the FDA fails to establish the risks and to also tighten the standards.
In 1999, found to leach from baby bottles, Consumer Reports finds BPA leaching on baby bottles when heated. FDA publicly asserts that the safety of BPA for bottles-fed infants uninformed concerning the low dose BPA toxicity on infant formula. In 2002, studies finds that there are various related effects on the behavioral and brain effects from exposure to BPA. In 2003 to 2006, in a study that was led by industry consultants first come up with the assessment of BPA low-dose toxicity. Later in 2006, the industry consultants’ led reports toes the industry line of BPA to be considered safe. During this period also the general public is given the opportunity to look at the report presented by Dr, Von Saal and they outline errors entailed in the reports which were to be further addressed.
Bisphenol A is considered to leach from plastic lining of canned foods, and to some extent polycarbonates plastics, especially those that are cleansed with harsh detergents. Majority of canned soft drinks are found to be having measurable levels of Bisphenol A. this is due to fact that the coating that is used in preserving canned foods are absorbed through the body skin.
Customer groups proposes that people who are interested in lowering their exposure to Bisphenol A avoid canned food and polycarbonate plastic containers unless the packaging indicates the plastic is Bisphenol A-free. The National Toxicology Panel advises that it is better to stop microwaving food in plastic containers, or using harsh detergents, to avoid leaching. In the US utilization of soft drinks, basically school lunches, and meals prepared outside the home was statistically considerably associated with higher urinary BPA.A study carried out in 2010 of Austrian, Swiss and German population has suggested polycarbonate (PC) baby bottles as the most prominent role of exposure for infants, and canned food for adults and teenagers. In both the nations, there were high chances of BPA being witnessed to have diverse effects on school children.
Effects on body and environment
The findings relating to effects of BPA on human body and environment that was published Environmental Health Perspective indicated that there was a mounting concern relating to the effects of BPA on the health of human beings. Previous studies have associated BPA to liver abnormalities, cancer, behavioral disorders, heart disease, diabetes, reproductive problems and obesity, and a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found noticeable levels of BPA in almost 95 per cent percent of the urine samples collected from at least 2,600 adults and children participants in the study.
Environmental Effects of BPA
It was noted that BPA has the possibility to contaminate the environment either directly or by means of degradation of products containing some substances of BPA. As an environmental contaminant, this substance obstructs or mess up with nitrogen fixation of basically at the roots of leguminous plants. Apart from being harmful to the roots of the plant, its ubiquity makes it an important pollutant. In accordance to Environment Canada indicate that low levels of Bisphenol A can cause great harm to fish and organisms after a longer period of time.
In 2009, the Royal Society carried out a biological review and found that the impacts of plasticizers on wildlife with a focus on annelids both aquatic and terrestrial. It was note that Bisphenol A had diverse effect on the reproduction of such organisms including amphibians.
(How many people get BPA?)
In relation to current population, it is estimated that daily Bisphenol A ug/kg per day varies according to the period of its infancy.
- Infant between 0 to 6 months who are formula fed are between1-11ug/kg per day.
- Breast fed infant fro 0 to 6 months are estimated to be 0.2 to 1ug/kg per day.
- Infant 6 to 12 month is estimated to be 1.65 to 13ug/kg per day.
- Child (1.5 to 6 years) is estimated at about 0.043 to 14.7ug/kg per day.
- Adult is estimated at 0.oo8 to 1.5ug/kg in a day.
The above statistics best explains the population of individuals who are affected by BPA as well as the estimated Bisphenol intake per day.
Recent research concerning exposure to the chemical BPA
Recent research indicates that BPA remains in the body for longer periods than earlier thought. This study was published in the journal of Environment Health Perspective. The level of BPA has been recorded to have dropped eight times more according to the resent research.
In the recent research it was noted that a group of 250 women from Cincinnati were found to have the first linking BPA experience in the womb to changes in a child's conduct. Other research involving much larger groups of women is planned to see whether the results was worth its results. A study published in the journal Chemistry & Biology in 2006 indicated that modified versions of Bisphenol A are probable to be formed in the body do stimulate breast tumor cell growth in vitro, according to a statement by Theodore Widlanski. A biochemistry professor at Indiana University also stated that Enzymes present on the surface of breast tumor cells appear to convert the adapted BPA back into BPA.
(What alternatives can be applied instead of canned goods that has liners containing BPA)
There are various ways that can be applied in order to avoid the prevalent problem of getting affected by BPA. One of the treatment is the use of glasses and stainless steel or even porcelain containers, especially for hot for or even liquids. For baby bottler, it is good to use glasses which are without Bisphenol A. if an individual is in need of ways of preserving food, it is better to use glass jars.
Action to ban plastics
There is need to ban plastic bags because they make big and persistent mess when trashed in landfills. It is good that most people are developing negative perspective towards plastic bags and looking for alternatives which are preferable.
According to research, it is evident that America as a state has been viewed as a country that makes the most plastic products thus encouraging the prevalent effects of BPA.
The effects and the general literature review in relation to this vise has been noted to be at its pick and therefore the need to develop ways in which people can avoid or use alternative methods of preserving food. As we have seen, it leads to various disorders and diseases in both children and adults, thus the need to come up with more elaborate methods of bottling soft drinks so as to curb the vice at all levels.
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