Depending on where a person lives and works, they are likely to be exposed to a number of plastic products each day. Beverage and food containers, toiletry bottles and some disposable plates are made from plastic and all are made from chemicals. Research suggests that all plastics might leach chemicals if they are heated or scratched. Research also strongly suggests that at a certain level of exposure, some of the chemicals in these products such as, 'bisphenol A (BPA),' might cause cancer. BPA is a weak synthetic estrogen found in:
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a carbon-based synthetic compound with the chemical formula (CH3)2C(C6H4OH)2 belonging to the group of diphenylmethane derivatives and bisphenols, with two hydroxyphenyl groups. BPA is employed to make certain plastics and epoxy resins. BPA-based plastic is clear and tough, and is made into a variety of common consumer goods, such as water bottles, sports equipment, CDs, and DVDs. Epoxy resins containing BPA are used to line water pipes, as coatings on the inside of many food and beverage cans and in making thermal paper such as that used in sales receipts.
Its estrogen-like activities makes it a hormone disruptor, as with a number of other chemicals in plastics. Hormone disruptors may affect how estrogen and other hormones behave in a person's body, by blocking or mimicking them; something that throws off the body's hormonal balance. Due to the fact that estrogen can make hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer develop and grow, a number of women choose to limit their exposure to these particular chemicals which may act like estrogen.
BPA also appears to affect the development of a person's brain while they are in the womb. A study from 2011 found that pregnant women with high levels of BPA in their urine were more likely to have daughters who presented with signs of depression, hyperactivity, as well as anxiety. The symptoms were found in girls as young as three years of age. It remains unclear why boys are not affected in the same way.
While it is likely impossible to completely avoid every single plastic product, try to use as little plastic as you can. If you are pregnant this is especially true. Never use plastic around food. In order to reduce your exposure to BPA and other chemicals:
Awareness and the use of containers that are not plastic can help you to avoid exposure to additional chemicals in plastics. To reduce your level of exposure to other chemicals in plastics:
Low level exposure to bisphenol A during development might make men more susceptible to prostate cancer later on in life according to one study. The study, which uses a new model of implanting human stem cells into mice, is the first to link early-life BPA exposure to prostate cancer. It adds to a growing body of research that suggests exposure to even low levels of BPA alters cells and may lead to diseases later in a person's life.
Heather Patisaul, a researcher from North Carolina State University stated, "Overall I think this is some of the strongest and most convincing evidence to date linking early-life BPA exposure and cancer. They were careful to make the exposures human relevant, used cells derived from healthy humans and replicated physiological conditions seen in aging men."
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in American men. Approximately 15% of men will face a diagnosis of prostate cancer in their lifetime. Greater than 90% of all Americans have traces of BPA in their bodies. Previous studies suggest there is universal exposure to children in the womb.
List of Types of Cancer and Tumors - Disabled World - (2014-12-30)
World production capacity of BPA compound was 1 million tons in the 1980s, and more than 2.2 million tons in 2009. In 2003, U.S. consumption was 856,000 tons, 72% of which used to make polycarbonate plastic and 21% going into epoxy resins. In the U.S., less than 5% of the BPA produced is used in food contact applications, but remains in the canned food industry and printing applications such as sales receipts.