Two recent studies have linked bisphenol A (BPA) to hormonal changes in men and genetic changes in female mice. Researchers in the first instance analyzed urine samples from 715 participants ages 20 to 74 enrolled in an Italian population study, measuring average daily exposure to BPA at approximately 5 micrograms. Tamara Galloway, et al., “Daily Bisphenol A Excretions and Associations with Sex Hormone Concentrations: Results from the InCHIANTI Adult Population,” Environmental Health Perspectives, August 2010. Although these levels were in line with other surveys, the results also showed that “higher daily BPA excretion was associated with higher total testosterone concentrations in men.” According to the authors, their findings are significant “because they provide a first report in a large-scale population of associations between elevated exposure to BPA and alterations in circulating hormone levels.”
In addition, a second study has reportedly found evidence that low doses of BPA altered gene expression in fetal mouse ovaries. Crystal Lawson, et al., “Gene Expression in the Fetal Mouse Ovary is Altered by Exposure to Low Doses of Bisphenol A,” Biology of Reproduction, August 2010. After dosing pregnant mice with BPA levels equivalent to those found in humans, researchers purportedly observed “modest but significant changes in gene expression in the fetal ovaries from exposed fetuses.” They also noted that “the first changes were evident within 24 hours of exposure, and the most extensive changes correlated with the onset of meiosis,” suggesting that later offspring produced by the grown fetus might be “chromosomally abnormal.” See e! Science News, August 24, 2010.
Meanwhile, the Swedish Ministry of the Environment recently asked the Swedish National Food Administration and the Swedish Chemicals Agency to propose a national ban on BPA in baby bottles and other plastic products. As stated in a July 29, 2010, press release, the government has decided to act in absence of a decision from the European Food Safety Authority, citing similar steps taken by Denmark and France. “A ban for the EU’s 500 million inhabitants would of course have a greater impact than a ban for the 9 million people living in Sweden. But the process is too slow,” Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren was quoted as saying. “It is unacceptable that young children are exposed to the risks that have been proven to be associated with bisphenol A, especially when changing to alternative materials is easy. This is why we are now making the first move by preparing a national ban.”