FoodFacts.com has been following studies on the effects of BPA on the population. We were relieved when it was banned from baby bottles and sippy cups. But it’s still out there, as it hasn’t yet been banned for usage in canned goods and does pose numerous possible dangers. And today, we found more disturbing information that we wanted to share with our community.
In a study from researchers at Duke University, results linked Bisphenol A (BPA) with more potential negative effects. It appears that the chemical may cause a disruption of an important gene responsible for the proper functioning of nerve cells. Based on the findings of this new study, it appears that BPA might impair the development of the central nervous system, leading to the possibility that exposure might predispose animals and humans to neurodevelopmental disorders.
The study was conducted with rodents. They discovered that the rodents exposed to BPA experienced the shut down of a gene necessary for the development of the central nervous system – the Kcc2 gene. The study is published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. If the Kcc2 gene shots down, it cannot produce a protein that is essential to removing chloride from neurons. This is vital for the proper functioning of brain cells. Researchers noted that further research is needed to determine other genes that might be affected by BPA and that this is just a first step in much-needed determinations of how BPA affects brain development.
For the most part our exposure to BPA is through the containers used in packaging foods. Prior research has suggested that BPA is an endocrine disruptor. It affects the way hormones work and can lead to reproductive problems and developmental difficulties. In addition, BPA has been linked to a variety of different health conditions and diseases, among them are diabetes and obesity. BPA is known to mimic estrogen in the body. It was banned from baby bottles and sippy cups here in the U.S. Other food product categories, however, remain unaffected by the ban. France has recently instituted a ban that will require all food product containers to be BPA-free by 2015. And Japanese food manufacturers have voluntarily removed BPA from food product containers. Recent reviews of Japanese products have found no traces of the chemical in canned food and drink and BPA blood levels in the Japanese population have dropped dramatically.
FoodFacts.com is certain that as research into the negative effects of BPA continues, there will be further bans on the chemical worldwide, including here in the United States. While there have been claims in many countries that BPA concentrations in product packaging are low, there has never been any encouraging information regarding its health effects. Let’s all remain vigilant in our efforts to avoid the chemical and add our own voices to those already speaking out against the use of BPA.