BPA's Effects Might Last in our Bodies for Generations

A disturbing article on Grist.org today announces that a new study on bisphenol A has found evidence of multi-generational effects of exposure to the endocrine disrupting hormone. Contributor Tom Laskawy writes that evidence of genetic alterations as a result of BPA exposure have indeed been found, and that these alterations occurred after exposures equivalent to those people experience on a daily basis. Laskawy states:

The research appears in the peer-reviewed journal Endocrinology and was conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Virginia. Its title says it all: “Gestational Exposure to Bisphenol A Produces Transgenerational Changes in Behaviors and Gene Expression.”

There are several interesting (and ominous) aspects of this new research that should give us all pause. The first is that researchers looked specifically at genetic effects. The previous study I cited examined behavioral and physiological effects alone. And yes, the scientists found evidence of genetic alterations from BPA exposure. But the truly significant aspect of the study comes from the fact that the researchers replicated in mice the low-level, chronic exposure that humans experience in their day-to-day lives. 

While some legislation has attempted to address the problem, such as the Safe Chemicals Act proposed by Senator Frank Lautenburg (D- N.J.), Laskawy writes that it is unlikely that such a bill would pass in today's political environment. To learn more about the study, and bills which attempt to protect consumers, please see the full article on Grist here.

Photo via Natmandu on Flickr.

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