Friday, April 25, 2014

Study Questions Safety Thresholds for Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals

Certain chemicals, such as BPA, are potential endocrine disruptors – compounds that interrupt the processes of natural hormones.
Friday, April 11, 2014 (Medical News Today)

Based on rodent studies, the US Food and Drug Administration say that exposure to such compounds is safe at low levels. But new research has found that rodents and humans have different responses to these chemicals, suggesting that current exposure recommendations need to be evaluated.

Potential endocrine disruptors (EDs) can be found in pesticides, flame retardants and food and drink packaging. Exposure to such chemicals, including BPA (bisphenol A), has been associated with an array of health problems, particularly reproductive disorders, male impotence and developmental disorders.

Past research has suggested that infants, children and pregnant women are most vulnerable to the effects of ED exposure. Most recently, Medical News Today reported on a study suggesting that male fetus exposure to BPA may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

At present, researchers commonly use rodent models to assess how ED exposure affects human health. Once scientists have seen how certain EDs affect rodents, they reduce the observed safety threshold by 100 to work out the safety levels for humans.

But in a new study, researchers from France found that human testes were found to be over 100 times more susceptible to the effects of certain chemicals, such as BPA, than the testes of rodents.

These finding suggest that going forward, the effects of EDs should be tested on both human and rodent cells to ensure the safety risk of chemicals is accurate, according to the research team. “We need to develop specific tools to study chemical toxicity in human reproductive cells; this will allow us to accurately assess safety thresholds for different compounds, and re-evaluate the acceptable daily intake levels to protect human health,” says lead study author Prof. Rene Habert, of the University of Paris.

There is no safe, acceptable level of daily intake for these man-made chemicals. Various plastics, including BPA, BPS (bisphenol S) and BPF (bisphenol F) are used to package many food products. Plastic water bottles are a common example. When heated (during shipping, storage, or the trunk of your car) these chemicals release from the container and enter your food.

They can be found in our drinking water and even in the air we breathe. Currently, state and federal water standards do not require that the levels of these chemical be measured. As a result, you will not see these compounds listed on water quality reports. This is one of the reasons I drink distilled water.

All scientific studies are limited in there scope. They are limited by time, location, and subject. For example, the study noted about the possible correlation between BPA exposure in male fetuses and prostate cancer requires a lifetime from fetal exposure to manifest as disease. By the time we are aware of the potential problem; several generations of humans have been exposed to these dangerous chemicals.

Elimination of BPA from the body is touted as being very quick and complete, with a half-life of only a few hours. However, studies on elimination have to be performed fasting as it is so common in our food supply. Recent studies show a much higher level of residual BPA in the body than anticipated. As a result, several European countries have banned the use of BPA in infant and early childhood products.

Avoid these chemicals as much as possible. Do not allow food stored in containers containing these chemicals to be heated. Do not put these containers in the dishwasher and reuse them. Finally, please do not drink tap water. Spend $120 and buy yourself a distiller.