RESEARCHER ADVISES HIS FAMILY DUE TO FINDINGS
Q: Have you changed your own habits in the lab or at home because of your bisphenol A findings?
Feldman: Yes, to some extent. I do strongly advise my children to avoid exposing our grandchildren to bisphenol A. I don’t microwave food in plastic containers, or wash the containers in the dishwasher because heat and some detergents cause leaching. I try to limit the amount of canned food I eat, or rinse the food before consuming the contents. Of course, we no longer autoclave laboratory materials in plastic. Overall, it is safest to try to be careful and avoid bisphenol A and other endocrine disrupters
David Feldman, MD, emeritus professor of endocrinology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and his team were the first researchers to identify and call attention to the possible impact of low levels of bisphenol A on human health.
STANFORD MEDICAL SCHOOL NEWS RELEASE, APRIL 2008
STANFORD Q&A: David Feldman on risk of bisphenol A in plastic bottle
At that point we realized that we had identified a molecule that was leaching out of the plastic that, because of its estrogenic hormonelike properties, had the potential to be important and perhaps even dangerous to people who were eating or drinking out of containers made of this type of plastic, polycarbonate. Since polycarbonate has so many uses as a clear and strong plastic, it is ubiquitous in packaging food and beverages, and epoxy resin is used in lining metal cans.
We also know that bisphenol A is similar in chemical structure to diethylstilbestrol, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to the development of vaginal cancer and other toxicities in the daughters of women who took the drug during the ’50s and ’60s to prevent miscarriage. So we know that it is possible for some of these synthetic estrogenlike compounds to have bad effects many years after initial exposure. We also need to remember that the effects of these so-called “environmental estrogens” or “endocrine disrupters” are additive. There are many different ways we can be exposed to these various compounds and they are cumulative.
I feel there’s enough evidence to support a “better safe than sorry” approach, particularly for fetuses, infants and children. Not only do they weigh much less than adults, making their relative exposure greater, but they are also still developing estrogen-sensitive breast and prostate tissue. In my opinion, the prudent thing for current or expectant parents or those planning a pregnancy to do would be to limit their child’s exposure to bisphenol A by avoiding bottles and cups that are made of polycarbonate, and to microwave food in glass containers whenever possible. For adults, however, canned foods and beverages may be the most important source of bisphenol A
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