In this episode I talk about the current controversy regarding BPA, also known as bisphenol A. The FDA just rejected a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council to ban BPA in food packaging.
BPA has been found in the urine of more than 93% of Americans tested. It is a synthetic estrogen that was developed more than 70 years ago and has been widely used since the 1960s specifically to make polycarbonate plastic for things such as baby bottles. It's also been used to line metal cans such as soup cans. It can be found in dental sealants and eyeglasses as well as a coating for cash register receipts and hundreds of other household items.
BPA is an “endocrine disruptor” (EDC) and as such disrupts our endocrine system. It is been linked to neurological defects, diabetes, breast and prostate cancer, and heart disease.
Just recently Campbell’s Soup company announced that they would be removing BPA from the inner lining of their soup cans. This was brought about by pressure from consumers.
See this site for more information:
I then go on to talk about the exciting new article that was published in Endocrine Reviews. This article showed that even low doses of environmental chemicals which can disrupt our hormone system can have serious effects on human health. The researchers say that this points to the need for basic changes in how chemical safety testing is conducted.
Currently safety data is evaluated by giving animals high doses of chemical compounds and seeing if they get cancer or die. This study changes all that. In this article, by reviewing over 800 other articles it is recognized now, that you do not need high doses- and specifically very low doses of these environmental chemicals -can affect our body leading to chronic disease. This ability of a chemical in a very low potency to affect our system is called "Hormesis", because these chemicals are acting like a hormone on our body.
In this new report, researchers, who were led by Tufts University’s Laura Vandenberg, concluded after they studied hundreds of studies that health effects "are remarkably common" when people or animals are exposed to low doses of endocrine disrupting compounds. The authors of the article concluded that scientific evidence "clearly indicates that low doses cannot be ignored." They point out a wide range of health effects in people from fetuses to aging adults including now known links to infertility cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer, and other disorders.
In the article they wrote "Whether low doses of endocrine – disrupting compounds influence human disorders is no longer conjecture, as epidemiologic studies show that environmental exposures are associated with human diseases and disabilities."
They go on to say that "current testing paradigms are missing important sensitive endpoints for human health. The effects of low doses cannot be predicted by the effects observed at high doses. Thus fundamental changes in chemical testing and safety determination are needed to protect human health."
Here is a link to an audio interview with Dr. Vandenberg the chief researcher of this article. I really encourage you to listen to it.
Here are links to other websites where the article is reviewed and discussed.
Original article here
In this podcast I then go on to discuss (which is most probably related to the article I just discussed) the burgeoning epidemic of autism. In the year 2000, 1 in 150 children was diagnosed with autism. In 2008 the FDA has just announced that one in 88 children is now diagnosed with autism. Even more shocking, the data currently is that one in 54 boys or almost 2% of all boys are being diagnosed with autism.
On April 2, 2012 World Autism Day was held in New York City to push for official recognition of autism as a national public health emergency and to analyze the federal health authorities’ failure to respond.
I encourage you to look at the Autism Action Network website which you can find here.
I had intended to get to some of your questions on this podcast but time did not allow. I will be answering your questions that you've e-mailed and phoned in, in the near future in my podcast. Thank you for sending them and being patient!
Please write your comments below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I really want to know what your thoughts are about all this and how you or your family may have been affected by all this.
I also want to invite all my listeners who are thinking about getting pregnant, (or your family and friends who are thinking of getting pregnant) and who live in the greater LA area to a Pregnancy Awareness Month (PAM) event being held at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles on May 6, 2012. My friends and colleagues Ken Cook and Alejandro Junger and I will be talking about “Cleaning up for Pregnancy”. You can get more information about this event here.
I hope to see you there!