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Levels of BPA lower among Canadians than Americans: study

Americans are being exposed to much higher levels of the controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA) than Canadians, a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has found.  


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February 28, 2011 by Canadian Plastics

Americans are being exposed to much higher levels of the controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA) than Canadians, a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has found.  

Why? Well, the authors aren’t quite sure.

“The comparison between concentrations measured in Canada and US populations are particularly interesting because these two populations are often thought to be demographically similar,” said study author Dr. Laura Vandenberg, Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology, Tufts University, Medford, Mass. “Surprisingly, for each age group that was analyzed, the concentrations found in Canadians were approximately half those found in Americans.”

BPA, a chemical commonly used in manufacturing polycarbonate plastics, has been linked by some studies to a range of adverse health reactions, such as neurological impairment, reproductive abnormalities, prostate, and breast cancer.

This newest study also showed that children and adolescents had the highest levels of BPA. According to Vandenberg and her co-authors, these higher levels might be due to exposure through children’s toys and baby bottles, or because children eat more food relative to their body mass compared with adults.

Despite the fact that Health Canada declared BPA a health hazard in 2010, the report was also critical of the agency’s role in the BPA controversy. “Health Canada continues to maintain that BPA is safe at current exposure levels and does not pose any risk to the general population,” the study noted. “Regulations to remove bisphenol A from all food-contact sources, or ban it completely, are not yet forthcoming, presenting a conflict that is likely to confuse the public.”

In a written response to this latest study, Health Canada said that it could not comment until it had a chance to review the research, but it said population-monitoring surveys are taken at different times, using different analytical procedures and age groups, which could explain the findings.