A new University of Missouri study has revealed that exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) through diet has been underestimated, and indicates that the controversial chemical accumulates more rapidly within the body than previously thought.
The researchers compared BPA concentrations in mice that were given a steady diet supplemented with BPA throughout the day compared to the more common lab method of single exposure, and found an increased absorption and accumulation of BPA in the blood of mice.
This is the first study to examine concentrations of BPA in any animal models after exposure through regular, daily diet, which mirrors the chronic and continuous exposure to BPA that occurs in animals and humans.
“People are primarily and unknowingly exposed to BPA through the diet because of the various plastic and paper containers used to store our food are formulated with BPA,” Cheryl Rosenfeld, an associate professor in biomedical sciences and the corresponding lead author of the study, said.
“We know that the active form of BPA binds to our steroid receptors, meaning it can affect estrogen, thyroid and testosterone function. It might also cause genetic mutations. Thus, this chemical can hinder our ability to reproduce and possibly cause behavioral abnormalities that we are just beginning to understand.”
The study, which was published in Environmental Health Perspectives on June 6, notes that more than 8 billion pounds of BPA are produced every year, and more than 90 percent of people in the United States have measurable amounts of BPA in their bodies.