I know this is not new news. I know it was first presented to the public back in March of 2009 but I can’t help but comment on this. Did you know that six major baby bottle makers in the United States have agreed to stop using the toxic chemical Bisphenol-A, an obesegen and toxic chemical, in their baby bottles?

The six companies are: Avent, Disney First Years, Gerber, Dr. Brown, Playtex and Evenflow. They have all agreed to voluntarily ban BPA from bottles that they manufacture. This is a huge victory for human health in this country and now you have a choice. Buy the junk others make, loaded with BPA, or limit your purchases to these thoughtful companies.

Consumer groups in New Jersey and Delaware wrote in October, 2008, to the companies urging them to stop using the controversial chemical, widespread in plastic, after studies linked BPA to a range of health problems in infants. Not to mention that science has linked this chemical to obesity; so much so that scientist call it an “obesegen”. Read my recent post on Harmony Green. In fact, over 130 studies over the past decade have linked even low levels of BPA to serious health problems, breast cancer, obesity and the early onset of puberty, among other disorders.

Vocal consumer watchdog groups have been calling, loudly, for a complete ban on BPA. But this is small comfort in my opinion when you realize how much of this is going on, and not just with baby bottles. We should be in fear for our lives. In addition to all the other horrors discovered about BPA alone, toxicologists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found last year that the chemical could interfere with the brain development of fetuses and newborns. Ever wonder why so many of our kids are fat, hyperactive and have to be medicated for brain disorders? Is it going to come down to how rich some company can get? Is our health and well being a price you’re willing to pay?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its European counterpart, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), have said the chemical is safe in the amounts used in such products as baby bottles. For my opinion on this matter, read my previous post on how the EPA lies to us about the chemicals in the products we buy.

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I found this online at Science Daily and it freaked me out. I mean, they are finding that toxic chemicals in plastics may be the cause of metabolic syndrome, a condition that makes people fat, slow and sick. This report was based on new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC) and this research implicates the primary chemical used to produce hard plastics-bisphenol A (BPA)-as a “risk factor” for metabolic syndrome and its consequences. When I saw this, I was immediately feeling anger as I thought “what if they find” that plastic is making America obese? I mean, wouldn’t that just take the cake?

Getting back to the Science, this report states that in a laboratory study, using fresh human fat tissues, the UC team found that BPA suppresses a key hormone, adiponectin, which is responsible for regulating insulin sensitivity in the body and puts people at a substantially higher risk for metabolic syndrome. This syndrome, as I’ve read about it online, is also a cause of Diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome is a combination of risk factors that include lower responsiveness to insulin (insulin resistance) and higher blood levels of sugar and lipids (cholesterol). According to the American Heart Association, about 25 percent of Americans have metabolic syndrome. Left untreated, the disorder can lead to life-threatening health problems such as coronary artery disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

And they are saying that some chemical in plastic bottles, forks, containers, bags, etc.. is causing this? Seriously. I find this unsettling.

The article also refers to Nira Ben-Jonathan, PhD. This doctor and her team are the first to report scientific evidence on the health effects of BPA at environmentally relevant doses equal to “average” human exposure. Previous studies have primarily focused on animal studies and high doses of BPA. Think of how many bottles, forks, bags, wrappers, bowls, etc… your family uses every day.

Scientists are now estimating that over 80% of the people they have tested have measurable BPA in their bloodstream. The UC study was designed to mimic a realistic human exposure (between 0.1 and 10 nanomolar) so that a more direct correlation between human exposure and health effects could be drawn.

Ben-Jonathan is a professor of Cancer and cell Biology at UC and has studied BPA for more than 10 years. She has been quoted as saying that “people have serious concerns about the potential health effects of BPA. As the scientific evidence continues to mount against the chemical, it should be given serious attention to minimize future harm.”

“Experimenting with human tissue is the closest we can come to testing the effects of BPA in humans. It’s a very exciting breakthrough because epidemiological studies looking at BPA effects on humans are difficult since most people have already been exposed to it,” she concedes.

To conduct this study, the UC team collected fresh fat tissue from Cincinnati patients undergoing several types of breast or abdominal surgery. These samples included three types of fat tissue: breast, subcutaneous and visceral (around the organs). This tissue was immediately taken to the laboratory and incubated with different concentrations of BPA or estrogen for six hours to observe how the varied amounts of BPA affected adiponectin levels. The effects of BPA were then compared to those of estradiol, a natural form of human estrogen.

The researchers found that exposing human tissues to BPA levels within the range of common human exposure resulted in suppression of a hormone that protects people from metabolic syndrome.

“These results are especially powerful because we didn’t use a single patient, a single tissue source or a single occurrence,” Nira Ben-Johnathan has noted. “We used different fat tissues from multiple patients and got the same negative response to BPA.”

According to the source quoted in Science Daily, UC’s Eric Hugo, PhD, Terry Brandebourg, PhD, Jessica Woo, PhD, J. Wesley Alexander, MD, and Christ Hospital surgeon Jean Loftus, MD, participated in this study. The study was funded by grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

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