A new study shows that human exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) may have been grossly underestimated by the FDA. Older, indirect measurements of BPA, long used for analysis of human exposure, may miss up to 90% of true BPA levels. Technological improvements now allow for direct measurement of BPA and its metabolites. A study comparing the methods showed the older, indirect method to be far inferior. Federal regulations for consumer safety have hinged on the assumption that Americans get negligible exposures to BPA— an assumption based on a faulty analytical method.
In a small sample of humans, the new method detected 19 times more BPA than detected by the old method. And it was 44 times higher than the average reported by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, data that is used to set human safety standards.
BPA is a chemical that gives plastic its hard quality. It is an endocrine disruptor, meaning it acts like a hormone in the human body, interfering with normal hormone balance. Common sources of BPA are water bottles, baby bottles, toys, store receipts (thermal receipts), dental fillings and sealants, the epoxy coating inside of food and beverage cans, and more.
High levels of BPA may increase the risk of:
- Hormone-sensitive cancers
- Birth defects
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Coronary and peripheral arterial disease
Cass Nelson-Dooley, MS, is a researcher, author, educator, and laboratory consultant. She studied medicinal plants in the rain forests of Panama as a Fulbright Scholar and then launched a career in science and natural medicine. Early on, she studied ethnobotany, ethnopharmacology, and drug discovery at the University of Georgia and AptoTec, Inc. She joined innovators at Metametrix Clinical Laboratory as a medical education consultant helping clinicians use integrative and functional laboratory results in clinical practice. She owns Health First Consulting, LLC, a medical communications company with the mission to improve human health using the written word. Ms. Nelson-Dooley is an oral microbiome expert and author of Heal Your Oral Microbiome. She was a contributing author in Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine and Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine. She has published case studies, book chapters, and journal articles about the oral microbiome, natural medicine, nutrition, laboratory testing, obesity, and osteoporosis.