New experiments by researchers at the University of Missouri (UM) show that exposure to the controversial chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) through diet has likely been underestimated by previous lab tests.
In the new study, appearing in Environmental Health Perspectives, the researchers compared mice given a steady diet containing BPA to mice given a single exposure (the method used in past experiments). The researchers say this is the first study to examine concentrations of BPA after exposure through a regular, daily diet, which is a better method to mirror the chronic and continuous exposure to BPA that occurs in humans.
Following regular exposure through the diet, the researchers found a significantly greater increase in the active form of BPA, which can bind to sex steroid receptors and exert adverse effects.
“People are primarily and unknowingly exposed to BPA through the diet because of the various plastic and paper containers used to store our food are formulated with BPA,” UM’s Cheryl Rosenfeld said. “We know that the active form of BPA binds to our steroid receptors, meaning it can affect estrogen, thyroid and testosterone function. It might also cause genetic mutations. Thus, this chemical can hinder our ability to reproduce and possibly cause behavioral abnormalities.”
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