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BPA Linked to Erectile Dysfunction

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 8:31 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: BPA, Plasticizers, Bisphenol-A, Baby Bottles, Plastics

BPA found in plastic baby bottles is shown to increaseerectil dysfunction in factory workers in China who work with epoxy resins witih BPA.


IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons/ baby boy and bottle/ author: Matthias Sebulke

You Find It Everywhere

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical used to harden plastics. You can find it in everything from baby bottles, to plastic containers and the lining of food can.

Even in dental sealants and CDs.

And that’s the problem.

The ubiquitous environmental toxin has for the first time been linked to erectile dysfunction in humans.

In animals, testing showed low-level Bisphenol-A exposure during fetal development can alter the development of breast and prostate glands which can increase the risk of cancer, according to Dr. Ted Schettler, director of the Science and Environmental Health Network.

Now a first study involving humans, conducted in China among male factory workers, supports animal research.

Chinese Factory Workers Exposed

China has nothing like OSHA in the U.S. so workers in an epoxy resin factory there were exposed to levels about 50 times greater than non-factory workers.

Among the 230 men who worked with high levels of BPA, the risk of having problems ejaculating was four times higher in the group of exposed men who also had lower sex drives and lower overall satisfaction with their sex lives.

The study was published this week in Human Reproduction and was funded by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

The Chinese men were compared to a control group of 404 workers who worked in factories with no BPA exposure.

Even men who worked at the BPA factory for a year or less, had sexual dysfunction, which raises questions about the blanket assurances of safety from scientists and industry, even the U.S. FDA.

Still, it’s unclear if exposure on an everyday level will create sexual dysfunction in humans not exposed at this level.

BPA is called an endocrine disruptor because it blocks male sex hormones including testosterone and mimics estrogen in women.

Similar to diethylstilbestrol (DES), bisphenol-A (BPA) has been recognized since the 1930s as a synthetic estrogen. DES was taken off the market, BPA found its way into plastic production, mainly polycarbonated plastics and epoxy resins.

Pioneering zoologist, Theo Colburn, in her landmark book, Our Stolen Future (Dutton, 1996; Plume 1997), explored the many examples of plasticizers acting as a synthetic form of estrogen that disrupt the normal sexual development among wildlife.

Now that the effects that have been observed in animals studies have been seen in humans, the study’s lead author, Dr. De-Kun Li, an epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research, says an increased risk of cancer and obesity need to be taken more seriously.

“We cannot dismiss them anymore,” he says to CNN.

Precautionary Principle

Just to act on the side of caution, Canada is moving toward a ban on the sale and import of BPA-containing baby bottles. Minnesota and Chicago have similar bans. Earlier this year, six major baby bottle manufacturers said they will remove the chemical from their products.

The FDA has in the past said BPA is safe, echoing assurances by the American Chemistry Council and industry studies. But in August the FDA announced it is reconsidering whether it overestimated the safety of the chemical, reports Health Magazine.

Consumers Can - identify BPA by looking at the plastic identification number “7” within the recycling symbol, unless it specifically says it is bisphenol A- free. Type 3 PVC can also contain bisphenol A.

You can always contact the manufacturer if you are unsure.

To minimize your family’s exposure you can replace plastic with glass, ceramic, or metal, such as stainless steel water bottles.

If you do use plastic, do not put it in the dish washer, as heat and harsh detergents may cause the BPA to leech.

And avoid putting plastic containers in the microwave and wash plastic bottles by hand. #

1 Comment

Anonymous User
Posted by Me
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 10:58 PM EST

No wonder my dick doesn't work any more.

Comments for this article are closed.

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