Canadian Plastics

BPA has no effects on brain development: study

Canadian Plastics   

Materials Toxic Substances

A new industry-funded study has found no evidence of any adverse effect on brain or neurological development i...

A new industry-funded study has found no evidence of any adverse effect on brain or neurological development in rats whose mothers were exposed to dietary doses of bisphenol A (BPA) during their pregnancy.

BPA is a chemical building block used primarily to make polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins.

The research was funded by the Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group of the Arlington, Va.-based American Chemistry Council (ACC), and carried out by research organization WIL Research Laboratories LLC in Ashland, Ohio.

The study results were published online Feb. 17 in Toxicological Sciences, the scientific journal of the Society of Toxicology.


“This new study, which exposed pregnant rodents to a range of BPA dietary doses from low to high, concluded that BPA had no effects on brain development or behavior in their offspring that had been exposed to BPA in utero and throughout development,” said Steven G. Hentges, of ACC’s Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group.   


The study consisted of pregnant rodents given both low and high doses of BPA in their milk and food. The study comes on the heels of a previous low-dose study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had also found that low doses of BPA did not affect brain reproduction or development.

“Both of these studies – examining potential effects on brain development and behavior at low doses – address the areas of ‘some concern’ which the National Toxicology Program had previously identified as appropriate for additional research,” Hentges said.


BPA has, of course, been the subject of recent controversy, as several other laboratory studies have linked BPA to birth defects, low birth weight, cancer, early puberty and other health problems in rats.


In the U.S., largely as a result, Minnesota, Connecticut, the city of Chicago and Suffolk County in New York introduced bans on BPA baby bottles for young children last year. The Connecticut ban will go into effect in October 2011, and other states are considering bans.

In Canada, most recently, Toronto MP Carolyn Bennett sent a letter to the health minister, Leona Aglukkaq, asking for the country’s sex toy industry to be regulated. According to Bennett’s December 2009 letter, the use of BPA and phthalates in some products could pose a health risk to women.


According to ACC’s Hentges, the WIL Research Laboratory findings should help lay the BPA spectre to rest once and for all. “Regulatory agencies from around the world have concluded that the science supports the safety of BPA for people of all ages in its current uses,” he said. “Plastics made with BPA contribute to the safety and convenience of everyday life because of their durability, clarity and shatter-resistance.” 






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