the VOA Special English Health Report.
A is a chemical widely used to make hard, polycarbonate plastic. Food storage
containers, reusable water bottles and baby bottles are among the many
different products that may contain BPA. BPA is also commonly used in
protective coverings inside metal food and drink cans.
can swallow small amounts of BPA as they eat or drink. An industry Web site
says more than forty years of safety research shows that products made with
bisphenol A are safe.
others question the safety of BPA. Now, a large study has linked it to diabetes
and heart disease in adults.
divided almost one thousand five hundred American adults into four groups based
on BPA levels in their urine. All the levels were within the limits considered
safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Yet the study found
that the highest group was more than twice as likely as the lowest group to
have heart disease or diabetes, or both.
and Drug Administration and chemical industry officials said the study does not
show that bisphenol A caused the diseases. The researcher who led the study,
David Melzer at England's University of Exeter, agrees. He says the findings
must be reproduced and that other studies are also needed.
also says that if BPA is a cause of these conditions, then just reducing
contact with it might prevent some cases. The study appeared last week in the
Journal of the American Medical Association.
this month, United States government scientists from the National Toxicology
Program released a final report on BPA. They found that the chemical is of
"some concern" for effects on development of the prostate gland and
brain in fetuses, infants and children. They made the same finding for
scientists based their findings mostly on studies of laboratory animals. Even
so, the program director said "the possibility that BPA may affect human
development cannot be dismissed."
April, Canada became the first country to propose a ban on plastic baby bottles
that contain BPA. The government has said it will publish its final decision by
plastic goods are now being marketed as BPA-free. But some people wonder
whether any other chemicals that might take its place are any better.
the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Caty Weaver. I'm Jim Tedder.