More on the Problems with Bisphenol-A

Posted on December 5, 2007  Comments (0)

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Bisphenol-A, that plasticizer, gets a media reaming

But few reports that The Tracker has seen match, in fury and conviction, the lambasting that a team of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporters, Susanne Rust, Meg Kissinger, and Cary Spivak, have given to these things, especially bisphenol-A, in the last two weeks. They say they reviewed 250 papers, interviewed more than 100 scientists, industry reps, and government regulators, read thousands of pages of additional documents. They give it a one-two punch, with that second one the roundhouse. They are going for a knockout.

The stories make The Tracker, a person with a tendency to say “on the other hand…”, a little nervous. There aren’t many maybes in here, not much calibration. The reporters appear fully convinced bisphenol-A is a menace. I’ve heard reports on the stuff too, and it does give one the jim jams. But one seldom sees, as here and without equivocation, declarations that a recent government review was flatly biased in its selection of which studies to give most weight, the gov’t used outdated methods, it looked mainly at chemical industry-funded studies, it ignored academic and presumably unbiased work.

The original articles: Are your products safe? You can’t tell. Labels often fail to list compounds that can disrupt biological development – WARNING: The chemical bisphenol A has been known to pose severe health risks to laboratory animals. AND THE CHEMICAL IS IN YOU.

In the first analysis of its kind by a newspaper, the Journal Sentinel reviewed 258 scientific studies of the chemical bisphenol A, a compound detected in the urine of 93% of Americans recently tested. An overwhelming majority of these studies show that the chemical is harmful – causing breast cancer, testicular cancer, diabetes, hyperactivity, obesity, low sperm counts, miscarriage and a host of other reproductive failures in laboratory animals.

Studies paid for by the chemical industry are much less likely to find damaging effects or disease. U.S. regulators so far have sided with industry by minimizing concern about the compound’s safety.

I believe in there are real risks that should be addressed. And I am not convinced the regulators are doing a good job, see my previous post in April, 2007 on Bisphenol A.

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