FDA Says BPA is Safe and No Danger to Humans
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is responsible for regulating bisphenol A (BPA), recently declared BPA safe at current levels and said the chemical poses no serious health risks to humans.
The new study, which was released to coincide with a congressional hearing on BPA and an independent panel’s review of the FDA, raises questions about the validity of the agency’s conclusion. The FDA ruling also was disputed by another federal agency, the National Toxicology Program of the Department of Health and Human Services, which concluded there was definitely reason to be concerned that BPA may cause developmental problems in children’s brains and hormonal systems.
New Research Finds BPA Link to Heart Disease and Diabetes
For the JAMA study, British and American researchers studied urine samples from 1,455 American adult men and women. BPA was present and detectable in 90 percent of the samples, and all were below the current FDA-approved levels for exposure. Even so, the 25 percent of adults with the highest levels of BPA in their urine were nearly three times as likely to have heart disease, and 2.4 times as likely to have diabetes, than those with the lowest exposure. Higher BPA levels also were linked to unusually high concentrations of three liver enzymes.
More Research Needed to Determine Danger or Safety of BPA
The new research is far from conclusive, but it is intensifying concerns about the possible health risks of BPA and the controversy over the FDA safety declaration. The JAMA research is the largest study of BPA ever conducted on humans, although more than 100 studies have found links between BPA and serious health problems in animals.
Consumers Cautioned to Reduce Exposure to BPA
The FDA relied on two studies of lab animals, both funded by the chemical industry, and both showing conclusions out of sync with most other studies—another reason that many consumers, scientists and federal lawmakers are questioning the agency’s ruling on BPA. As a result, consumers are advised to lower their exposure to BPA in order to lessen any potential health risks the chemical may cause.