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September 22, 2008
Volume 86, Number 38
p. 14

Research

BPA Linked To Health Problems

Chemical tied to higher risk of heart disease

Glenn Hess

A STUDY PUBLISHED in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that people with high concentrations of bisphenol A (BPA) in their bodies are more likely to have heart disease, diabetes, and liver damage (J. Am. Med. Assoc. 2008, 300, 1303).

Britt Erickson/C&EN
Studies differ on the safety of plastic bottles that contain BPA.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC), which represents major U.S. chemical manufacturers, has steadfastly defended the safety of BPA and says the new JAMA study has substantial limitations and is far from conclusive.

"Overall, due to inherent limitations in study design, this new study cannot support a conclusion that BPA causes any disease," says Steven G. Hentges, executive director of ACC's Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group. "The weight of scientific evidence continues to support the conclusion of governments worldwide that BPA is not a significant health concern at the trace levels present in some consumer products."

The JAMA study tells a more cautionary tale. "Using data representative of the adult U.S. population, we found that higher urinary concentrations of BPA were associated with an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and liver-enzyme abnormalities," wrote the study's researchers, led by David Melzer of Peninsula Medical School, in Exeter, England.

However