May 25, 2012
Source: Wikimedia Commons
BPA Newly Linked to Human Infertility
By Sarah (Steve) Mosko, PhD
Appeared in: Algalita Marine Research Blog, 30 Jul ’12
Researchers are finding evidence for the first time that inadvertent exposure to BPA (bisphenol-A) in women of child-bearing age might hinder their fertility, and the levels of BPA involved are similar to that observed in the general U.S. population.The synthetic chemical BPA has earned a solid reputation as an endocrine disruptor based on its estrogen-mimicking properties and documented health effects on lab animals exposed to even low, environmentally-relevant doses. Literally hundreds of animal studies have linked BPA to a wide spectrum of health concerns including obesity, diabetes, breast and prostate cancer, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, low sperm counts and abnormal genital development.
Human exposure to BPA is known to be widespread – over 90 percent of the U.S. population show BPA in their urine – and stems from water bottles and other consumer items made of polycarbonate plastics, the epoxy lining of most food & beverage cans, dental sealants and thermal check register receipts. Ingestion is thought to be the primary route of exposure.
Discerning whether current levels of BPA exposure in humans carry the same health risks seen in animals is intrinsically difficult because of ethical prohibitions on intentionally exposing people to a potentially harmful substance and because of the hodgepodge of other industrial chemicals to which humans are exposed. However, preliminary reports have surfaced linking BPA to human female infertility.
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November 1, 2006
Vall-E-Vents, the San Fernando Valley Sierra Club newsletter, Nov-Dec, 2006
San Francisco Nixes Plastic Toxins
(#9 of the Plastic Plagues Series)
by Sarah Mosko, Ph.D.
The City of San Francisco was first to nix some toxic plastics. Photo courtesy of my.sfgov.org
As of Dec. 2006, plastic toys and childcare products containing either of two chemicals known to disrupt sex hormones will no longer be manufactured, distributed or sold in San Francisco.
One targeted substance is bisphenol-A, the building block of polycarbonate plastics (#7) used to make some baby bottles, teethers and toys. It is an estrogen mimic that has been linked to miscarriage, birth defects, diabetes and prostate cancer. Leaching of bisphenol-A from polycarbonate bottles or containers into the contents has been documented.
Also banned are several plasticizers called phthalates added to PVC (#3, polyvinyl chloride) plastic products to make them soft and squishy. Many children’s toys and teethers contain phthalates that can migrate out since they’re not chemically bonded to the plastic polymer. Phthalates interfere with testosterone during fetal life, and exposure has been linked to abnormal reproductive organ development, infertility, premature breast development, shortened pregnancy, and asthma. Read the rest of this entry »
February 1, 2006
Appeared in Southern Sierran, February 2006
Plastics Damaging to Health: fetuses and children particularly at risk
by Sarah S. Mosko, Ph.D.
The Environmental Working Group reports that toxic fire retardants (PBDEs) are found in mother's milk.
Plastics can pose threats to human health at all stages in our life cycles, with specific risks varying with the type of plastic.
In the process of converting petroleum or natural gas into plastic, toxic chemicals can be released into the air and water supply. For example, vinyl chloride, a known carcinogen, is used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics. A chemical called perfluorooctanaote (PFOA) used in the production of plastic-coated non-stick cookware is also carcinogenic.
An assortment of “additives” is often needed to lend particular characteristics to a product. Many items, like computer casings and hair dryers, require flame retardants because plastics are highly flammable. Read the rest of this entry »
January 1, 2006
- Vall-E-Vents, the San Fernanado Valley Sierra Club Newsletter, Jan-Feb., 2006.
Plastics – an Unhealthy Habit?
(#6 of the Plastic Plague Series)
Sarah S. Mosko, Ph.D.
The endocrine disruptor bisphenol A is used in the synthesis of some wildly popular polycarbonate water bottles. Photo from ourstolenfuture.org
Plastics are lightweight, flexible, durable and can be molded into just about anything. They fill our toy chests, refrigerators, medicine cabinets and desk tops. Since the explosion of consumer plastics in the 1950s, we have come to rely on them to get us through our busy lives. But, there is a dark side to plastics as well, and it has to do with our health.
Plastics can pose threats to human health at all stages in their life cycle, with specific risks varying with the type of plastic.
During synthesis from petroleum or natural gas, toxic chemicals are used which can be released into the air and water supply. For example, vinyl chloride (a known carcinogen) is used to make polyvinyl chloride or PVC plastics, and a chemical called perfluorooctanaote (PFOA) used in the production of plastic-coated non-stick cookware is also carcinogenic. Furthermore, an assortment of “additives” are often needed to lend particular characteristics to a product.
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