BPA and Breast Cancer

Bisphenol A or BPA is one of many endocrine disruptors.   We come into contact with BPA in many products that we use daily. It might be in our plastic drink bottles, metal food cans, detergents, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides. While the FDA says that BPA is safe at low levels, it has banned it from use in baby bottles.  Researchers have observed a causal link between BPA and Breast Cancer [1] along with other diseases.  We have a long list of questions that need further research before we fully understand the effects of endocrine disruptors on human beings.  For a really good overview of how BPA might disrupt, please watch this USA Today Story by Liz Szabo.

This article is about early onset of puberty in young girls.  It states: “Chemicals in the environment — most notably bisphenol-A (BPA), which is found in many hard plastic products — may affect hormones as well”, says Dr. Gary Berkovitz, M.D., a professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has an entire website dedicated to the effects of Endocrine Disruptors in our bodies and how chemicals like BPA may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.  Here is a list of 300 published studiesfunded by the NCI.

Research shows that endocrine disruptors like BPA may pose the greatest risk during prenatal and early postnatal development when organ and neural systems are just forming.[2]   Neonatal and early childhood are known Windows of Susceptibility. We know that BPA exposure can be measured very quickly in Urine.[3],[4]  We know that there is evidence that it might alter our genetic mutations.[5]

A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, might contribute to your exposure to endocrine disruptors including pharmaceuticals, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, DDT and other pesticides, and plasticizers such as bisphenol A. For a complete list of everyday household products and their possible dangers, please visit here.

Endocrine disruptors might mimic naturally occurring hormones in the body like estrogens (the female sex hormone), androgens (the male sex hormone), and thyroid hormones, potentially producing overstimulation, and altering the way hormones work in a healthy human being.[6]

According to the Breast Cancer Fund, Over 500 tons of BPA are released into the U.S. environment annually, according to an estimate by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency . Significant levels of BPA have been measured in ambient air, house dust, and river and drinking water.   Studies continue and so we continue to monitor these results, but the best way to protect your health is by taking precautions like limiting your exposure to register receipts, packaged food products and known environmental chemicals like pesticides.

The New York State Breast Cancer Network supports the Precautionary Principle which is a guideline in environmental decision making.  It addresses taking preventive action even when there is scientific uncertainty; shifting the burden of proof to the proponents of an activity; exploring safer alternatives to possibly harmful actions; and increasing public participation in decision making.[7]

[1] Endocr Relat Cancer. 2014 Mar 12;21(2):T33-55. doi: 10.1530/ERC-13-0513. Print 2014 Apr.

[2] Reprod Toxicol. 2015 Jul;54:58-65. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2014.09.012. Epub 2014 Sep 30.

[3] PLoS One. 2014 Oct 22;9(10):e110509. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110509. eCollection 2014.

[4] Toxicol Sci. 2011 Sep;123(1):48-57. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfr160. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

[5] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960076014000314

[6] Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Apr;119(4):547-52. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1002559. Epub 2010 Dec 2.

[7] The precautionary principle in environmental science. – NCBI, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ …National Center for Biotechnology Information by D Kriebel – ‎2001.

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